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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

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Confirmed Cases: 117617

Reported Deaths: 3302
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Harrison549185
Jackson480088
Rankin404686
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Lee366582
Forrest311878
Jones296684
Washington2627100
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Sunflower164349
Warren156156
Monroe153873
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Marshall148430
Lincoln143359
Pike140656
Copiah139336
Scott127029
Coahoma125837
Union125825
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Simpson123149
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Holmes115060
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Winston85221
Tishomingo82741
Attala80527
Clarke77053
Clay71022
Jasper69617
Walthall64427
Calhoun63313
Noxubee60217
Smith60216
Yalobusha56416
Montgomery55823
Lawrence54414
Claiborne53916
Tunica53717
Perry52423
Carroll50312
Stone49114
Greene48118
Humphreys45117
Amite42813
Quitman4236
Jefferson Davis42112
Webster37813
Benton36710
Wilkinson34221
Kemper33315
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27910
Franklin2513
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 160380

Reported Deaths: 2713
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23769383
Mobile17039318
Tuscaloosa10539141
Montgomery10435199
Madison946798
Shelby756365
Baldwin674369
Lee662465
Calhoun468962
Marshall445251
Etowah436552
Morgan426335
Houston421234
DeKalb351229
Elmore326558
St. Clair307042
Limestone295131
Walker285593
Talladega273937
Cullman260025
Lauderdale237143
Jackson221917
Autauga210331
Colbert208232
Franklin207732
Blount198825
Russell19763
Chilton190932
Dallas188127
Coffee182611
Dale180852
Covington176729
Escambia175331
Clarke138017
Chambers137047
Pike135514
Tallapoosa135387
Marion110331
Barbour10459
Marengo103522
Butler101541
Winston94313
Geneva9357
Lawrence87733
Pickens87418
Bibb85615
Randolph84316
Hale78030
Cherokee76114
Clay75812
Washington75412
Henry7286
Lowndes71728
Monroe66010
Bullock65017
Crenshaw61130
Perry5966
Fayette59413
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Macon54120
Lamar5165
Sumter47721
Choctaw39412
Greene34616
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