‘TikTok Music’ app can take on Spotify and Apple: Trademark claims

  • ByteDance, the parent of TikTok, has filed for a trademark for a service called “TikTok Music.”
  • The Service may include an application for users to purchase, play, share and download music.
  • ByteDance already operates a separate music streaming app called Resso in three markets.

TikTok is a new music discovery platform that regularly pushes songs into the mainstream and often to the top of charts like the Billboard 100 and Spotify Viral 50. Now the company seems to be getting closer to launching a standalone music streaming service of its own. .

Its parent company ByteDance filed a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May for “TikTok Music,” applying the phrase to various goods and services, including a mobile app that will allow users to “buy, play, share , download music, songs, albums, lyrics.”

Other possible uses for “TikTok Music” in ByteDance’s app include an app that would allow users to “stream live audio and video,” as well as the ability to “edit and upload photos as playlist covers” and “comment on music , songs and albums.”

ByteDance first filed its trademark application for “TikTok Music” in Australia in November and later filed in the US on May 9.

The idea of ​​ByteDance launching a standalone streaming service “TikTok Music” in the US to compete with players like Spotify and Apple Music is not unfounded. It already runs a streaming app called Resso in three markets — India, Brazil and Indonesia — that has been grabbing market share from other streamers over the past year.

TikTok Music could follow the plan of ByteDance’s music streaming app Resso

It’s easy to see a scenario where the company could try to convert its existing TikTok user base into paying music subscribers. ByteDance is following exactly this strategy to grow Resso in Brazil, adding a button for TikTok users to click on the Resso app when they come across a song they want to hear in full, The Information reports. The company had plans to use TikTok as a marketing tool for Resso in India before the app was banned in June 2020 as part of a geopolitical dispute between India and China, two former Resso employees told Insider.

TikTok did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on its plans for the “TikTok Music” trademark.

But applying for it in the U.S. will ultimately have to prove that it either actually uses the trademark for its particular services or that it has a real (bona fide) intent to use it in connection with the sale of a product, according to three legal experts of trademarks.

“Typically, a company the size of TikTok or ByteDance will only apply for trademarks for items they’re seriously considering,” trademark attorney Josh Gerben of the Gerben Law Firm told Insider. “If you look back through the trademark applications of any major company, you’ll see ones that they filed but never materialized. But many times they do. And a lot of times that’s something they’re seriously working on.”

ByteDance listed a range of potential uses for the “TikTok Music” trademark, including an app that allows users to “stream live audio and video interactive media programming in the fields of entertainment, fashion, sports and current events,” among the proposed goods and services.

The move is typical for a tech company, Michelle Cook, partner and co-head of the media and entertainment department at law firm Arent Fox Schiff, told Insider.

“As a technology company, your options are pretty broad,” Cook said. “If you look at some of the industry leaders and how they’ve expanded into a wide range of goods, products and services that include digital assets and the form in which they can arrive, your ability to say as a technology company, I have a bona fide intention to be expansive” – ​​the plan is there.”

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