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Tinder sues dating app Bumble

Tinder's parent company Match Group is suing competitor Bumble, accusing the female-friendly dating app of patent inf...

Posted: Mar 18, 2018 4:28 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2018 4:28 PM

Tinder's parent company Match Group is suing competitor Bumble, accusing the female-friendly dating app of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Texas, says Bumble is virtually identical to Tinder, the app that popularized the swipe right to like, swipe left to dislike functionality.

Bumble copied the "world-changing, card swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise" of Tinder, the lawsuit says.

The complaint also says that Bumble's co-creators are ex-Tinder employees, and the app has rolled out two new features that were "learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder."

Bumble has become a fierce competitor to Tinder since it launched in 2014. Bumble's differentiating factor is that only women can make the first move. But Match confirmed last month it plans to launch that feature in its own app.

In the complaint, Match says it "applauds Bumble's efforts at empowering women, both in its app and offline" and "cares deeply both about its women users and about women's issues generally."

"This case is simply about forcing Bumble to stop competing with Match and Tinder using Match's own inventions, patented designs, trademarks, and trade secrets," it says.

The lawsuit is the first time that Match Group, which also owns dating sites Plenty of Fish and Match.com, has enforced the patents it secured on swiping and double opt-ins for dating matches on Tinder, according to a company spokesperson.

Related: Bumble CEO: I don't think about Tinder

Tinder and Bumble have had a complicated history.

Bumble was launched by Whitney Wolfe Herd, an early employee at Tinder.

Wolfe Herd left Tinder in 2014 after alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. The case was eventually settled. Ex-Tinder employees Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick joined Herd to start Bumble more than three years ago. Gulczynski and Mick, who are designers, are at the center of the stolen secret allegations in the suit.

The two had knowledge of an "undo" button talked about at Tinder, according to the complaint. That feature was "nearly, if not literally, identical" to Bumble's backtrack feature, the lawsuit says. The backtrack feature allows users to go back in time to "like" someone they may have accidentally passed on.

Gulczynski and Mick also helped implement photo messaging at Bumble, something Gulczynski had allegedly mocked up a design for while at Tinder.

In a statement, a Match Group spokesperson said the company is "committed to protecting the intellectual property and proprietary data that defines our business,"

Bumble did not immediately respond to request for comment. According to the Linkedin accounts for Gulczynski and Mick, both have left Bumble. They did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment about the lawsuit.

Axios was first to report that Match Group had filed the suit.

Related: Tinder to introduce feature for women to message first

It's been widely reported that Bumble once turned down a buyout offer from Match Group. Match Group was reportedly still interested in Bumble's business as recently as November of last year.

Match Group said it doesn't comment on mergers and acquisitions speculation.

In an interview with journalist Gayle King at the SXSW festival last week, Wolfe Herd declined to talk about any conversations - past or present - with Match Group, the parent company of Tinder.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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