TikTok accused of stealing features, days after it accused Facebook of stealing features

The lawsuit focuses on TikTok's 'Green Screen Mode', where users shoot multiple videos synced to an audio track 

Adam Smith
Thursday 03 September 2020 12:35 BST
(Credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)
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TikTok is being sued by another shortform viral video app due to allegations that one of its proprietary features was stolen by TikTok.

Triller posits that the technology to use audio tracks to edit multiple videos together belongs to the company.

“Triller alleges that ByteDance and TikTok directly and indirectly infringe the Asserted Patent by making, using, offering for sale, selling and importing the popular iOS and Android software application known as ‘TikTok,'” the lawsuit said, as first reported by The Wrap.

Triller’s lawsuit focuses on the “Green Screen Video feature TikTok brought out last year, which lets users “shoot multiple video takes synchronized to an audio track.”

It claims it patented the format in 2017, and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

TikTok declined to comment when contacted by The Independent.

Speaking to Business Insider, Triller CEO Mike Lu alleged that TikTok paid creators to “actually not post on Triller,” which he described as “neither ethical nor legal.”

“If every $200 billion company could just pay their customers to not join a startup competitor, entrepreneurship in America would die and no new companies could ever exist,” Lu also said.

This news comes after TikTok accused Facebook of launching “copycat products” because of the similarities between Reels, a shortform video feature Facebook is testing through Instagram in Brazil, “after their other copycat Lasso failed quickly.”

Reels has users create music videos that can be 15-seconds long – the same length of time allowed on TikTok – and has a feature similar to TikTok’s ‘Duet’ mode which lets users take audio from other users to use in their own videos.

Facebook has also reportedly offered money to TikTok creators to encourage them to leave the platform.

TikTok is also dealing with possible legislation against it from the Trump administration, which could ban the app due to the links between its Chinese parent company, Bytedance, and the Chinese government.

Mr Trump is reportedly “looking at” banning the app because of how much data from US citizens could potentially be passed onto Beijing. TikTok has denied such allegations, and said it would not comply with any requests for data from the Chinese government

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