Muzmatch have released a defiant statement ahead of their trial against the Match Group for trademark infringement. Muzmatch, founded in 2011 as a marriage website for Muslims, will face Match Group, the brand behind the popular dating apps Tinder, Hinge and OKCupid, at a hearing at the UK Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (IPEC) in London later this month.
Shahzad Younes released the following statement on Twitter: “If we lose? We will be forced to change our brand name, and the name muzmatch will die. We will likely have to pay material damages. We fight, because we must. It is crucial that products built for our community are built BY our community, and that we do not allow ourselves to be dictated and controlled by others. Our mission is to transform how Muslims meet and marry.”
Match Group, which claims it “pioneered the concept of online dating” more than 20 years ago, has accused Muzmatch of using the word “match” in its website’s metadata to help boost its profile in internet searches.
Muzmatch’s keyword tags include “match-muslim” and “uk-muslim-match”, Match Group said, claiming the tags are an “attempt to ride on the coat-tails” of its registered marks.
Match Group then initiated the first of four takeover offers for Muzmatch in 2017, with the final offer coming through in 2018 for $35m, which Mr Younas said he refused.
Then, in 2019, Match Group purchased Egyptian matchmaking app Harmonica, now known as Hawaya — a direct rival of Muzmatch.
Months later, the US company filed a suit against Muzmatch at the IPEC, claiming trademark infringement around the use of the Muzmatch brand, before following up in March with a separate suit in the US alleging patent infringement around the app’s use of the swipe gesture, as well as cyber-piracy in relation to the branding.
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