The lawsuit filed by Tinder against 3nder hinges on the pronunciation of the threesome app’s name, it has been revealed.
Yesterday, the London startup announced it is being ordered to cease operations by mobile dating giant Tinder because of possible “confusion” between the two dating services.
The threesome app, which was launched in July 2014, has come out on the attack, saying it will not bow down to Tinder’s demands, founder Dimo Trifonov releasing a statement saying that 3nder’s “mission and values could not be more distinct from those of Tinder.”
And now those who have seen the legal documents confirm that the lawsuit is concerned with the pronunciation of 3nder.
Legal action was actually started last December, with The Match Group sending 3nder a “letter before claim”, where Tinder laid out its claim against the startup.
The letter says the brand’s name and logo are both designed to remind users of Tinder.
It reads: “Phonetically, the infringing mark is closely similar to the Tinder mark, as the obvious pronunciation of ‘3nder’ is ‘Thrinder’, which rhymes with Tinder.”
The claim also points to an October 2015 New York Post interview with 3nder founder Trifonov which contains the paragraph:
“London-based startup 3nder – the name can be pronounced “Thrinder” to rhyme with “Tinder,” according to its founder – said it has raised $500,000 in seed capital from a pair of unnamed angel investors.”
The dating giant wants 3nder to shut down its website and remove all reference to its name, even those that appear in third party sources.
Speaking about the lawsuit, and the app’s pronunciation, the 3nder team told GDI: “3nder’s name has nothing to do with Tinder.
“To our founder, it’s always been “Three-ender” based on a fusion of Bulgarian and English words for Three and Friends. And it’s fun that people play with and constantly question its pronunciation.”
The company has also said it embraces all pronunciations, and the “Thrinder” way of saying the name is just an “optional and not an official” pronunciation.
Many founders reached out to me and told me they were bullied by US corporations. Someone should have spoken earlier. #TinderSuckMySocks
– Dimo Trifonov (@denull) May 24, 2016
3nder founder Dimo Trifonov recently wrote a Medium article on the lawsuit, revealing the company almost went bankrupt in February 2015, before 3nder was funded by two angel investors for $500,000.
He believes that Tinder is coming after his startup because of its “sudden market growth”, saying the app sees 3m messages sent every month, membership is up 30% year on year and the company has seen a 980% increase in revenue.
The founder also says it has 70,000 people on its worldwide waiting list, as it prepares to release its Android app.
However he concedes that Tinder’s lawsuit, which he says is like “loading a nuclear weapon” against 3nder, could easily bankrupt the company.
But the dating brand is trying to fight back, generating a lot of press with the story & launching an odd social media campaign, asking supporters to send photos of their socks to the Hollywood-based company: “As a busy start-up, it is a common occurrence for the 3nder team to forget to do their laundry. So 3nder is asking its members and anyone with an open-mind to remind them at #Tindersuckmysocks on social media and for the most awesome people to send Tinder their dirty socks.”
A photo posted by Dimo Trifonov (@denull) on
Tinder has so far not responded to the 3nder lawsuit news, and have not released a statement, but we will update the story if that changes.
Read more about the lawsuit here.