DMAGAZINE - Aug 1 - Tinder and Bumble filed dueling lawsuits recently accusing each other of being copycats, among many other things. Tinder claims the fight is just business. But for Whitney Wolfe-Herd, the founder and CEO of Bumble, it's a story of deceit, betrayal, mad lust, and more generally the plight of women in business as victims of aggressive male domination. The similarities are what Match Group and Tinder are complaining about in the patent and trademark infringement suit filed by Match Group on March 16, 2018. Match Group has a 2014 registered trademark on the word "swipe" as used in "software for social introduction and dating services," as well as a utility patent for a "method for profile matching," and a design patent covering a flashcard-type graphical user interface for mobile devices. On March 28, 2018 - only 12 days after Match Group filed its suit - Bumble filed a separate lawsuit against Match Group with allegations that make the dispute sound personal. Bumble alleges that Match Group tried to buy Bumble for $450M in June 2017, which Bumble rejected as "unappealing." When Wolfe-Herd graced the cover of Forbes' "30 Under 30" issue in Dec 2017, Forbes said Match Group had made another proposal that fall which valued Bumble at $1B - again rejected. In its lawsuit, Bumble alleges that Match Group was asking Bumble to reveal its most valuable secrets so that Match Group could make another, higher, offer. Immediately after Bumble shared those secrets, Match Group filed its infringement lawsuit. Bumble's current pleading goes on to argue that Match Group is the real copycat: After Bumble launched its "Bumble Boost" feature in 2016, Tinder copied that with "Tinder Gold" in 2017. Then in February 2018, Match announced that Tinder will let female users choose whether only they can initiate conversations with future matches.
by Steve Thomas
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