Online dating giant Match hit with patent infringement lawsuit
According to the lawsuit, Match Group is claiming Bumble, which was created by ex-Tinder executives, rips off Tinder almost in its entirety, with the exception of its “women-talk-first marketing strategy.” Match Group alleges Bumble not only copied Tinder’s now iconic swipe-based matching interface, but former employees Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick stole features for the dating app that were originally developed while they were at Tinder, such as the ability to undo an accidental wrong “swipe left” (rejection) on someone. “To be clear, this case is not about any Bumble personnel’s personal history with anyone previously at Tinder,” the case complaint reads. “Rather, this case is simply about forcing Bumble to stop competing with Match and Tinder using Match’s own inventions, patented designs, trademarks, and trade secrets. Match brings this complaint to stop Bumble’s unlawful use of this intellectual property. Match Group is suing Bumble, which was founded by one of Tinder’s co-founders, for infringing on two of its patents, including a design patent for Tinder’s now-famous swipe-to-connect feature, according to the suit.Since its founding in late 2014, Bumble has established itself as a serious player in the world of online dating. The service uses a similar swipe-to-match feature as Tinder, but requires women to send the first message. Bumble has more than 22 million users and was on pace for more than $100 million in revenue in 2017, according to Forbes. Badoo, another dating service owned by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, is Bumble’s majority owner, with a 79 percent stake. CNBC reported in January that Badoo had hired JPMorgan to help it find a potential buyer for the whole company. Presumably, Badoo and its other dating services would be included in any deal for Bumble.
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