May 16, 2021

Volume XI, Number 136

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TikTok Maker Sued for 2.274 billion RMB for Copyright Infringement and Trade Secret Misappropriation in China

On April 30, 2021, Meishe Technology (美摄科技announced it has sued Beijing ByteDance Technology Co., Ltd.Beijing Weibo Vision Technology Co., Ltd. and affiliated entities for computer software copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation relating to ByteDance’s Douyin app (the Chinese version of TikTok) and other apps.  Meishe is requesting a public apology and 2.274 billion RMB (~$351 million USD) for damages and expenses.  Meishe Technology was established in 2014 and provides mobile video, audio, and image processing, recognition, and deep learning, etc. 

Meishe alleges that version 3.0 and later of Douyin released on November 1, 2018, copied video and audio editing and processing software code from  Meishe Technology’s copyrighted beauty photo software. Further, six other apps by Bytedance have traces of code plagiarism, many of which have the same function names and even misspelled code copied from Meishe source code.

Meishe states, “Video and audio editing and processing functions are one of the most basic and core functions of the Douyin app. Based on these functions, several apps such as Douyin have gained hundreds of millions of users and have been downloaded billions of times and obtained huge profits from infringement.”

Meishe did not release a copy of the court filing or other information as of the time of publication. 

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© 2021 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 121
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About this Author

Aaron Wininger IP Attorney China Portfolio Development
Director of China Intellectual Property Law Practice Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner

Aaron Wininger is a Senior Attorney and Schwegman’s Director of China Intellectual Property. Aaron counsels both U.S. and Chinese companies on portfolio development and preparation of their patent applications and office action responses. He has worked with clients in the areas of software, networks (wired and wireless), lasers, medical devices, semiconductors and physics.

Aaron prosecutes both Chinese and U.S. trademarks. He has also drafted and prosecuted hundreds of U.S. and international patent applications in a broad spectrum of areas, including computer hardware and software,...

408-278-4059
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