Triller Suing TikTok Over 'Green Screen Video' Effect Patent Infringement

Content creating app Triller is suing rival TikTok and its parent company ByteDance, citing a patent infringement, surrounding one of TikTok's most popular features, in a new lawsuit.

In the filing, Triller names a June 2017 patent for "[s]ystems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track" as the basis for its lawsuit, focusing on the Green Screen Video feature. TikTok's feature was added "on or about December 11, 2019" per the lawsuit and was announced in a blogpost from the app. "[U]sers are able shoot over videos playing in the background," TikTok's blogpost states.

@tiktok

Try out the new #greenscreenvideo Update the app to use the new Creative Effect!

♬ original sound - tiktok

Similar to the green screen effect, which allows users to film videos of themselves in front of background photos, the feature allows users to film a video in front of another pre-recorded video or sync multiple takes to one audio track. The lawsuit says that TikTok violates the first claim of the patent.

"As for claim 1, the TikTok application provides for 'synchronizing each video take of the plurality of captured video takes with the selected audio track while each video take of the plurality of video takes is being captured, wherein synchronizing further comprises playing, from a first beginning, the selected audio track at substantially the same time as a second beginning of capturing each video take of the plurality of video takes' through its 'Green Screen Video' effect, which permits the user to synchronize each video take with the selected audio track while each video take of the plurality of video takes is being captured," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also states that TikTok's feature also violates claims 3 through 7 of the patent, which involve methods described in the first claim, including the device, capturing component, the audio track storage and the audio playing as the plurality of multiple tracks are recorded.

The lawsuit also states that TikTok "actively inducing others to use, offer for sale, and sell the Accused Products" and "offering to commercially distribute, commercially distributing, or importing the Accused Products, which is used in practicing the processes or using the methods of the '429 Patent, and constitutes a material part of the invention" are also infringements of the patent.

In a statement, Triller CEO Mike Lu said that the company would expand upon the filing and offer an amendment to cover another action taken by TikTok. "We were shocked to learn TikTok is actually using their influencer funds to pay influencers to actually not post on triller [sic], in fact to prohibit any posting on Triller. 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 anti trust violation," he said.

Press contacts for TikTok and ByteDance did not respond to Newsweek's emailed requests for comment in time for publication.

TikTok
This illustration photo taken on June 29, 2020 shows a person using the video-sharing app TikTok on a smartphone in New Delhi. In its filing, Triller names a June 2017 patent for "Systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track" as the basis for its lawsuit, focusing on the Green Screen Video feature. Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP/Getty