Tinder parent company Match Group is suing Bumble for copyright infringement after unsuccessfully attempting to acquire the dating app.
As Recode reported, Match Group filed the suit in US District court in Waco, Texas on Friday, alleging Bumble — the dating app that differentiates itself by requiring women to make the first move in heterosexual matches — is infringing on two of its patents, including one covering Tinder’s famous swipe- to-match-or-deny feature.
“Bumble, founded by three ex-Tinder executives, copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise,” the lawsuit states. “As acknowledged by third-party publications upon its release, Bumble is ‘virtually identical’ to Tinder in its functionality and general look-and-feel. Bumble sought to mimic Tinder’s functionality… and build a business entirely on a Tinder-clone, distinguished only by Bumble’s women-talk-first marketing strategy.”
Match Group goes on to claim that “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 comes after Match Group, which also owns Match.com, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, and other dating apps, unsuccessfully attempted to acquire Bumble last summer. TechCrunch in August reported that Match Group offered Bumble $450 million, but Bumble turned down the deal. A source told Recode that Match Group is still open to acquiring Bumble, indicating this lawsuit may be a pressure play to get the app in its portfolio.
Neither Bumble nor Match Group immediately responded to PCMag’s requests for comment. In a statement to Recode, Match Group said it “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,” Match Group added, according to the report. “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.”