US Federal Circuit Clears IAC of Patent Infringement

The US Federal Circuit has upheld a decision made by the Delaware Federal Court, which cleared IAC of infringing a patent held by British Telecommunications PLC (BT).

BT initially sued IAC for using a system for “tracking a user’s location, generating a ‘shortlist’ of information sources relevant to the user’s location, and transmitting that shortlist to the user’s terminal.”

It was alleged that Match, Tinder and video-sharing platform Vimeo violated the patent.

However, the Delaware Federal Court ruled that the technology was “too abstract” for patent protection in February 2019. A three-judge panel has upheld that decision following an appeal from BT.

The court reiterated that the claims added nothing new and that they only referenced “generic computer hardware”.

Match Group is still embroiled in an intellectual property dispute with Bumble. The online dating company claims Whitney Wolfe Herd, a former Tinder executive, infringed patents and trademarks when she launched a “copycat” app.

The case is due to go to trial in July, but Match Group has also accused the female-first social app of exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic by attempting to get that date postponed.

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