Match Group, the owner of the Tinder Dating App, is suing their competitors ‘Bumble’ for misuse of intellectual property over alleged patent infringement. Bumble is accused of copying Tinders swipe-based premise. The grounds for the suit are based on the fact that Bumble CEOs Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick previously worked for (and co-founded) Tinder and therefore, allegedly, copied the elements of the design.
Sarah actually went on to sue Tinder for sexual harassment before starting up Bumble.
Interestingly, it has been reported that Tinder (Match Group) is currently trying to buy out Bumble (majority owned by Badoo) and it could be that they are trying to pus the deal through by threatening a lawsuit. Tinder is 10x bigger in terms of monthly users, which makes the lawsuit even more interesting.
The patent in question was filed for by Tinder in 2013 but was only granted a few months ago. it was for their “world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise””.
Match provided the following statement:
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.
However, just one day after the news of the lawsuit broke, Bumble has counteracted by writing a letter focused on informing readers of the context of the suit. They published the letter on their blog and on various other media outlets. The letter states Bumble “vigorously dispute this lawsuit’s baseless claims and look forward to telling their story in court” and they they will “never be yours, no matter the price tag”.Full letter below. We will be sure to update you as the case unfolds further.
Dear Match Group,
We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values.
We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games. We swipe left on your assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate us. Given your enduring interest in our company, we expected you to know us a bit better by now.
We — a woman-founded, women-led company — aren’t scared of aggressive corporate culture. That’s what we call bullying, and we swipe left on bullies. Ask the thousands of users we’ve blocked from our platform for bad behavior.
In fact, that behavior? It only fuels us. It motivates us to push our mission further — to work harder each day to build a platform, community, and brand that promotes kindness, respect, and equality. That’s the thing about us. We’re more than a feature where women make the first move. Empowerment is in our DNA. You can’t copy that.
So when you announced recently, in another attempt to intimidate us, that you were going to try to replicate our core, women-first offering and plug it in to Tinder, we applauded you for the attempt to make that subsidiary safer.
We strive every day to protect our nearly 30 million users, and to engineer a more accountable environment. Instead of swinging back and forth between trying to buy us, copy us, and sue us, why don’t you spend that time taking care of bad behavior on your platforms?
We remain focused on improving our users’ experience, and taking our mission worldwide, until every woman knows she has the power to make the first move, to go after what she wants, and to say “no” without fear.
We as a company will always swipe right for empowered moves, and left on attempts to disempower us. We encourage every user to do the same. As one of our mottos goes, “bee kind or leave.”
We wish you the best, but consider yourselves blocked.