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HomeGoogleGoogle sued for trademark infringement over rival TikTok - Deadline

Google sued for trademark infringement over rival TikTok – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Google with TikTok for dominance in the short-lived video space has a new battleground – the courts.

The UK Intellectual Property Corporate Court, to be specific, and a potential David in Shorts International Ltd trying to tackle the tech goliath. In what could turn out to be a long-term dust-up, the Short TV parent company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Google on June 23 over the YouTube Shorts division.

In the chart-rich ranking (read it here), SILs claim that the branding and promise of YouTube Shorts, which launched in 2020 as a rival to the burgeoning ByteDance-owned TikTok, “are very similar, if not identical” to those of ShortsTV unveiled in 2008.


“Further, when Google uses the devices in association with the YouTube Sign, or the Google Sign YouTube Shorts, members of the public are likely to assume that Google, through YouTube, owns or has acquired the mark,” SIL asserts on its own. 13,000 strong titles and AMPAS-affiliated ShortsTV.

Last month’s filing comes as SIL is already battling Google’s efforts to “invalidate” the company’s trademarks. ShortsTV, founded by Carter Pilcher, which includes: AMC Networks As a minority shareholder in its owner of Shorts Entertainment Holdings, has seen Google YouTube Shorts apps run by Sundar Pichai stay on the other side of the aisle for now. Atlantic – although this latest lawsuit may prove the pin that is pulled into the global grenade.

“Google has used, in the course of business, without the consent of SIL, signs similar to the trademarks with respect to goods and services which are identical or similar to the goods and services for which the marks are registered or to certain ‘between them,’ reads the injunction filed June 23 and seeks potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in unspecified damages seeking action. risk of confusion on the part of the public concerned, ”adds the 14-page document. “At trial, SIL will seek a remedy for all acts of trademark infringement by Google. »


As part of this lawsuit, SIL, which owns ShortsTV brands in the UK, EU, India and America, essentially wants YouTube Shorts in its current form to be shut down and blown up. A result that would surely cede the lucrative short form arena to the flourishing TikTok.

To give an idea of ​​the stakes, YouTube has announced in the past that more than 1.5 billion logged-in users watch YouTube Shorts every month. The latest like-for-like data release from TikTok had over 1 billion monthly users on the dance-intensive platform as of September 2021. In terms of revenue, Google generated nearly $257 billion in revenue Last year. Backed by ad sales, TikTok made around $4 billion in revenue in 2021, with that number expected to at least triple this year.

Shorts International Ltd reported revenue of $11m in 2020 and $6.8m in 2021 as the company switched to an ad-supported model last year.

Google did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment on SIL’s new legal step.

ShortsTV, on the other hand, had a lot to say outside about its filing.

“It’s really sad,” CEO Pilcher told Deadline of the standoff between the two companies. “A massive company decides to adopt a brand image that we consider almost identical to our own, and which we have spent decades of concerted effort to build into a recognized and respected name in our industry, and when challenged , she is asking for the cancellation of our trademarks worldwide rather than seeking an amicable resolution. This is unfortunately the position that ShortsTV faces, and we had no choice but to pursue this litigation as a last resort. We hope the Court will agree that Google infringed our marks. »

Adding a cruel irony to all of this is the fact that the tens of millions of views ShortsTV has racked up over its own history are largely on the company’s YouTube channel.



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