Now it needs to worry about a patent infringement lawsuit from a rival competitor too.
Triller, a shortform viral video app similar to TikTok, is now suing its more popular competitor. The company alleges that TikTok has stolen one of the app’s proprietary features.
The lawsuit claims that TikTok infringed on Triller’s patent for “systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track.” More specifically the patented feature allows users to stitch together multiple videos with a single audio track attacked. Triller was granted the patent back in 2017.
The patented feature does sound fairly basic and it seems like many similar viral video creation apps could possibly be infringing on it. However, Triller’s lawsuit focuses on TikTok’s green screen features to make its case. Triller’s lawsuit includes photographic evidence arguing that the feature helps directly facilitate the patent infringement.
Triller is seeking an unspecified amount in damages from TikTok.
In a statement provided by Triller CEO Mike Lu, the company makes further claims saying that TikTok has specifically made payments to its creators to not post on the Triller platform.
“We were shocked to learn TikTok is actually using their influencer funds to pay influencers to actually not post on Triller, in fact to prohibit any posting on Triller,” he said. ”It’s neither ethical nor legal in our opinion. If every 200B company could just pay their customers to not join a startup competitor entrepreneurship in America would die and no new companies could ever exist.”
“We will be amending our complaint shortly to include this serious antitrust violation,” Lu continued.
While Triller is in no way the mainstream sensation TikTok has become, the app has some success in its own right. Mashable first Triller — and its patented feature — back in 2015. It has more than 100,000 reviews on Apple’s App Store. The app has investments from celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne. Triller has also recently hired TikTok stars like Josh Richards, who has 20 million followers on the TikTok platform, to work for its company.
TikTok has been targeted by the Trump administration as of late for its parent company ByteDancy’s ties to the Chinese government. The last thing it probably needs right now is a patent fight over an app-defining feature. Especially from a company that would gain from a possible TikTok ban from the U.S. government.