Match Group Is Suing Dating App Bumble for Patent Breach

Match Group Is Suing Dating App Bumble for Patent Breach

Match Group Is Suing Dating App Bumble for Patent Breach

Tinder alleges that Bumble simply copied what they called the, "world changing, card swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise", of Tinder. "Bumble has released at least two features that its co-founders learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder in violation of confidentiality agreements", the suit from Tinder added.

In addition to Tinder, Match Group also owns dating sites OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and Match.com.

But Match may be trying to push the deal along in an unconventional way: A new patent infringement lawsuit filed late Friday in U.S. District court in Waco, Texas. The case was eventually settled.

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And while dating app users are well aware that the two have developed very different reputations - Tinder having been long deemed the hook up app, and Bumble being a slightly more serious "feminist" dating app - it's clear that Match doesn't want to back down. Match Group asserts the three execs were able to replicate Tinder's app because they "were given access to certain confidential information related to proposed Tinder features". The lawsuit from Tinder accuses former employees Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, who now work for Bumble, of copying design elements.

Gulczynski and Mick are at the center of the stolen secret allegations. That feature was "nearly, if not literally, identical" to Bumble's backtrack feature, the lawsuit says.

The backtrack feature allows features to reassess individuals that they have accidentally passed on.

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Gulczynski and Mick also helped implement photo messaging at Bumble, something Gulczynski had allegedly mocked up a design for while at Tinder. However, TechCrunch sources had noted that Bumble turned down Match's offers to buy the company in summer 2017. According to the Linkedin accounts for Gulczynski and Mick, both have left Bumble. And when a Recode contact understood that Match was still interested in acquiring Bumble, it's not hard to see the lawsuit as a pressure tactic to make Bumble accept a buyout offer it would otherwise reject.

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.

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