Bumble is reportedly looking to drop its $400 million misappropriation of trade secrets case against Tinder’s parent company, Match Group.
This development is evidenced by Match filing a notice of non-opposition in a Texas court last week – paperwork which declares that Match will not stand in the way of Bumble’s withdrawal.
Match has added stipulations to its filing, however, and these may cause further conflict. They say that the court would need to make a statement in Match’s favour, and also rule out future lawsuits of a similar nature. The filing cites a “cloud” over Match, created by baseless allegations.
Match has then asked for any declaratory judgements to be moved up from the state level to the federal level in the Western District of Texas, so they become relevant to its own lawsuit against Bumble (for intellectual property infringements).
Bumble appears to be looking to drop the case in one court so it can pursue it again in a different court, so any public declaration of Match’s innocence would likely hamper these efforts. Match argues that such a declaration is necessary because Bumble is using delaying tactics, and benefiting from their allegations looming over Match.
In Match Group’s filing, they lambaste Bumble for writing an open letter about the lawsuit. The firm argues that Bumble was trying to “control the narrative”, as well as using the defence as a marketing gimmick.
It reads: “This media barrage – related to the mere service of a lawsuit that had been filed half a year ago – was used as a hook to begin promoting the fact that Bumble was looking into conducting an Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange.”
Match and its law firm also said: “As reflected by its wholesale copying of the Tinder app, Bumble is a marketing company, not a technology one.”
“Bumble’s marketing strategy has now extended to a misuse of the courts. (…) If Bumble wishes to continue to disparage Match in the media with these false and misleading allegations, it should prove them with evidence in the courts.”
Match has also revealed that any misappropriation of trade secrets disputes that arose during acquisition talks should have been brought to courts in England or Wales, as this was a term of a non-disclosure agreement Match had with Badoo’s umbrella at the time.
A spokesperson for Match has said: “We’re not opposing their request to dismiss their own claims, but we’re seeking declaratory judgements that will force these issues to be litigated in the right forums.
“As we say in section 132 of the amended counterclaim: ‘Match will not simply wait until Bumble decides whether or not it wants to pursue these claims – likely in connection with Bumble’s next media blitz.
“Match intends to litigate these baseless allegations now, and Match intends to conclusively disprove them.’
Bumble said in a statement:
“Match’s latest litigation filings are part of its ongoing campaign to slow down Bumble’s momentum in the market. Having tried and failed to acquire Bumble, Match now seems bent on trying to impair the very business it was so desperate to buy. Bumble is not intimidated and will continue to defend its business and users against Match’s misguided claims.”
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