Tinder and Match Group have opened a case against Bumble for patent infringement and the misappropriation of trade secrets.
Match Group asserts:
“Bumble, founded by three ex-Tinder executives, copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise. As acknowledged by third-party publications upon its release, Bumble is “virtually identical” to Tinder in its functionality and general look-and-feel.
“The competitive reason is obvious. Bumble sought to mimic Tinder’s functionality, trade off of Tinder’s name, brand, and general look and feel, meet user expectations that Tinder itself and its brand created, and build a business entirely on a Tinder-clone, distinguished only by Bumble’s women-talk-first marketing strategy.
“Compounding matters, Bumble has released at least two features that its co-founders learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder in violation of confidentiality agreements. All of these actions infringe upon Match’s valid and enforceable intellectual property rights.”
Chris Gulczynski, Whitney Wolfe Herd and Sarah Mick are the three executives referred to in the case. All were involved in the designing of Tinder.
Match Group presents a range of evidence in support of its case, citing The Telegraph and the English Oxford Dictionary as examples of third parties which have attributed swipe-based matching to Tinder.
GDI reported earlier this month that Tinder may be seeking to take action using its ‘Matching process system and method’ patent from 2013. The patent, along with other design patents, was brought forward in the document.
“Exactly one year after the effective date of Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick’s severance agreements, Gulcznyski, Mick, Wolfe-Herd, and Andrey Andreev, the founder and CEO of Badoo, another online dating competitor, launched ‘Bumble.’ “
The similarities between the card swiping, ‘It’s a match!’ and match queue screens in both apps are highlighted.
Bumble’s ‘backtrack’ feature, allowing a user to go back and swipe again on a profile, is said to be a copy of Tinder’s ‘rewind’ feature.
In a statement to Axios, Match Group said: “Match Group has invested significant resources and creative expertise in the development of our industry-leading suite of products. We are committed to protecting the intellectual property and proprietary data that defines our business. Accordingly, we are prepared when necessary to enforce our patents and other intellectual property rights against any operator in the dating space who infringes upon those rights.”
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