While the U.S. government continues to scrutinize TikTok over national security, the company has been accused of stealing a patented feature from American rival Triller.
On Wednesday, the Hollywood-based social video platform filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the Chinese service and its parent ByteDance, seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
In its suit, Triller claimed that TikTok infringed on its patent for “systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track,” according to Bloomberg Law.
The feature allows people to stitch together multiple videos while using the same audio track.
The patent credits Triller founder David Leiberman and Samuel Rubin as inventors. It was filed on April 11, 2015, and granted on June 27, 2017.
While other apps could be offering a similar feature, Triller makes its case on TikTok’s “green screen video” effect. According to TechCrunch, this allows users to shoot over videos playing in the background synced to audio.
@tiktokTry out the new ##greenscreenvideo Update the app to use the new Creative Effect!♬ original sound – tiktok
Additionally, Triller claims that TikTok paid influencers to avoid posting on their 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,” Triller Chief Executive Officer Mike Lu said, according to Mashable.
“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.”
Lu pointed out that they will amend the suit to include such a “serious antitrust violation.”
In response to growing concerns over national security, a number of TikTok influencers announced their move to Triller earlier this week.
“After seeing the U.S. and other countries’ governments’ concerns over TikTok — and given my responsibility to protect and lead my followers and other influencers — I followed my instincts as an entrepreneur and made it my mission to find a solution,” 18-year-old Josh Richards, who has 20 million followers, told the Los Angeles Times.
Earlier this month, U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo told Fox News that the government is looking to ban TikTok and other Chinese social media apps. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that TikTok is being reviewed by the department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), according to CNBC.