TikTok wins US trademark trial over Stitch video feature

A person holds a smartphone as Tik Tok logo is displayed behind in this picture illustration
A person holds a smartphone as Tik Tok logo is displayed behind in this picture illustration taken November 7, 2019. Picture taken November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 9 (Reuters) - Bytedance's TikTok Inc persuaded a federal jury in Los Angeles on Thursday that its Stitch feature does not violate trademark rights belonging to British video-editing company Stitch Editing Ltd.

The jury rejected Stitch Editing's argument that TikTok confuses consumers by using the Stitch name to brand the popular social-media platform's technology for "stitching" videos together.

A Stitch spokesperson said the company was disappointed with the verdict. A representative for TikTok had no immediate comment.

Stitch Editing has edited commercials for Nike, Samsung and Louis Vuitton and music videos for artists like the Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga. It sued in 2021 over TikTok's Stitch technology, which allows users to splice other videos on the platform into their own.

Stitch Editing told the court that TikTok's use of "Stitch" gave users the mistaken impression that the companies are affiliated and threatened to drown out its brand.

TikTok has argued that Stitch Editing's trademark in its name does not give it a "global monopoly on use of the word 'Stitch' to refer to the process of combining video clips together."

Stitch Editing had requested $116 million in damages, a spokesperson for the company said.

The case is Stitch Editing Ltd v. TikTok Inc, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, No. 2:21-cv-06636.

Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713