Triller’s viral video site has filed a copyright infringement case against its main competitor, TikTok, and its owner, ByteDance. The complaint, which was brought by the Western Division of Texas at the U.S. District Court, charges that TikTok violated Triller’s U.S. patent No. 9,691,429. The patent concerns “systems and methods combined with an audio channel to create music videos.”
The patent attributes the inventors of Triller co-founders David Leiberman and Samuel Rubin. It was first filed on 11 April 2015 and issued on 27 June 2017.
The patent defines a way to create audio-syncing images, even in certain cases while taking one or more video shots while the chosen audio track is playing. The business argues that TikTok infringes on this functionality now by encouraging its users to tie several videos together by using the same audio file.
Triller’s filing reveals how TikTok functions when opting to play with a video on a single audio file. It also points to a blog post from TikTok Newsroom dated 11 December 2019 where TikTok is launching a new “green screen video” effect. The article explains the effect as a manner in which users can film videos playing synced to audio in the background. That is provided as an example of how the case uses the violation.
In the filing, Triller claims TikTok was informed of their violation via email on July 27, 2020.
TikTok isn’t the only organization that sells a device with videos synced to such an audio file, but it’s the biggest. According to reports from the app store analytics company Sensor Tower, the TikTok app has more than 189 million U.S. downloads to date, including Triller ‘s 23 million+. Dubsmash is the only other rival to get more installations than Triller, with so far 41.5 million U.S. downloads. Lomotif, Likee, and Byte had less popularity, with US deployments of 21.2 million, 16 million, and 2.5 million respectively.
We understand that Triller may also plan to pursue its demands for patents against other rivals, including Dubsmash, Instagram (for its Reels product), and Lomotif. But such cases should be filed one at a time, rather than all at once because the attorneys are trying to explain how each particular client encounter violates.
Reached for comment, Dubsmash has said that Triller has not received anything.”We will find the argument farfetched given that Dubsmash was launched six months before their service was ever launched on the App Store and Play Store,” Dubsmash co-founder and chairman Suchit Dash said. Before now, TikTok had to address requests for comment. Have no comment on Instagram. Because of the time of publication, no more Triller instances exist on tape.
The Wrap and Bloomberg Rule first reported the details of Triller’s case. The case came at a time when the TikTok device is steadily under investigation in the U.S. Only yesterday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States was evaluating TikTok’s device.