NEW YORK TIMES - A London court ruled that Muzmatch infringed on Match trademarks, on Wednesday. Match Group ($3b revenue, 16m paying users) sued Muzmatch for infringing on its trademarked logo, using "match" in its name, and "unfairly benefiting" from the company’s reputation and investment in its brand. The ruling, from London's Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, could mean Muzmatch (6m users, $9m financing) must change its name and pay damages. Founder/CEO, Shahzad Younas, said Muzmatch would appeal. Match objected to the trademark registration for "Muzmatch" in Europe and the United States in 2016. Match also objected to the use of a heart and the font in Muzmatch's logo at the time, which were eventually removed. Match made approaches to buy the company, eventually offering up to $35m in 2019. Mr. Younas turned the offer down. Later that year, Match acquired Harmonica, a Muslim dating start-up in Egypt. "This is just their tactic," he said. "They'll court you, they'll get your data, they'll try and buy you, and when that doesn't work, they'll either go after a competitor or they'll just kill you," Mr. Younas said. "A million dollars for them in legal fees is small change. For us, it's everything."
Mark Brooks: I sympathize with Shahzad and Muzmatch. However, Match has to defend its name and trademark, along with its IP. It's simply not an option for them to not. Therefore, if you have a niche+match or match+niche type name, and anything in the way of scale and an official trademark application, then Match may well come simultaneously knocking, with guns cocked. This of course impairs your M&A valuation. Best to steer well clear of Match in your name in the context of Internet dating. The precedent is set. Match will sound and then fire its cannons at you if you encroach on their apparent domain. This may be unfair, but at least it is predictable.
MUZMATCH - Muzmatch, the biggest Muslim dating and marriage app, has lost a long court battle with Match Group over its name the company has been using since 2011. Match Group first reached out to Muzmatch in 2016, objecting to its trademark registration for MUZMATCH. They proposed a settlement agreement if Muzmatch promised not to sell the company to a competitor. Muzmatch refused. In 2017, they reached out again with an offer to acquire muzmatch. The two companies talked multiple times and four offers were made (max $35M) which didn't value Muzmatch fairly, according to founder and CEO, Shahzad Younas. Match Group group has then resorted to the last tool of giant conglomerates with huge legal teams - litigation. This month (April 2022), the judge ruled in Match Group's favour, stating in his view the word 'match' is distinctive of match.com since 2011 (the year muzmatch was born).
MUZMATCH - The Intellectual Property trial of muzmatch vs Match Group took place at the High Court in London, UK last week. In a blog post, muzmatch founder and CEO, Shahzad Younas describes in detail how he defended his company during the 2-day trial. For background on the case and how muzmatch got here, read Shahzad's previous post on the lawsuit.
BUSINESS INSIDER - MatchGroup is suing Muslim-oriented dating startup Muzmatch in the UK. Match accused Muzmatch of "free-riding" off its reputation, alleging the app copied the look and feel of its logo and apps and used the word "Match" and "Tinder" in its SEO and meta tags to boost traffic. It claims users could confuse Muzmatch for its own services. Match Group has previously sued Bumble and threesome app 3nder, now called Feeld. Muzmatch's founder Shahzad Younas claimed Match's legal action came after he turned down four acquisition offers from Match in 2018 and 2019. When acquisition talks failed, Match purchased a different Muslim dating app, and sued his firm, the filings stated. The two-day UK trial took place on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18, and the judge expects a decision will be made in six weeks.
MUZMATCH - Match Group is suing Muzmatch in the UK with the trial set for 17th/18th Jan. "We fight, because we must. It is crucial that products built for our community are built by our community, and that we do not allow ourselves to be dictated and controlled by others", says Shahzad Younas, founder and CEO of Muzmatch, the London-based dating app for Muslims which has recently hit 5M members globally. Shahzad Younas founded Muzmatch in 2011. He quit his career as investment banker to focus entirely on his startup and learning how to build a mobile app. Muzmatch app was launched in 2015 with hundreds of new members joining globally. In 2016 Shahzad registered trademarks for MUZMATCH in the US and Europe. Match Group immediately filed an objection, saying it was passing off their match.com heart design TM. Match Group lawyers sent letters claiming they would not allow another dating company to have "match" in their name. Muzmatch revamped the brand - removed the heart logo and changed the font used in the muzmatch logo. Match Group continued to file objections to the EU Trademark. In 2017, Muzmatch was accepted to Y Combinator Summer 17 batch, raising a $1.75M seed round. In 2018 Match Group made their first offer to acquire Muzmatch for $15M. As Muzmatch continued to grow, Match Group attempted to acquire the app multiple times offering $25M in Nov '18 and $35M in Jan '19. In 2019 Match Group acquired muslim app Harmonica and sued Muzmatch in the UK IPEC courts alleging trademark infringement. Match Group also filed a lawsuit against Muzmatch in Texas this year alleging patent infringement (use of swipe gesture) and cyberpiracy (use of Muzmatch brand). Muzmatch decided to settle the case and removed the swipe feature.
NOKIA MOBILE PHONE NEWS - After accusing Muzmatch, a UK-based Muslim matchmaking app, of copying their product and services, Match Group has launched a legal battle with it. The Match Group has accused Muzmatch of trademark infringement, claiming that its mission is to "spark meaningful connections for every single person worldwide." According to The Times, Match Group first wrote to Muzmatch in 2016 alleging trademark infringement before attempting to acquire it a year later. It made four offers to buy Muzmatch, including one for $35M, but Muzmatch turned them down. In 2019, Match purchased Harmonica, an Egyptian-based Muslim dating app, and renamed it Hawaya. According to Match Group, Muzmatch used the word 'match' in its metadata, and also used keyword tags such as 'match-muslim' and 'uk-muslim-match,' which the company claims are an attempt to 'ride on the coattails' of its trademarks. Muzmatch has denied the allegations, claiming that Match does not have a monopoly on the term "match" in the dating industry. On January 17, a hearing is scheduled at the UK Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court in London.
by Maria Daisy
See full article at Nokia Mobile Phone News
YOUTUBE - 5M single Muslims all over the world are on Muzmatch searching for love. To celebrate, Muzmatch is giving $5K to one lucky couple that met on Muzmatch, to spend on either their engagement, wedding or honeymoon.
ARABIAN BUSINESS - London-founded Muzmatch has its eye on regional daters, says founder Shahzad Younas. At last count, the app had 5M users globally. Founded in 2014, the app has specific features that support the Muslim faith, such as 'chaperone' options, private viewing functions and a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or lewd comments. Users can also select matches based on sect, ethnicity and religious practices. Backed with $9M seed and Series A investment from a range of Silicon Valley and global investors, with a 35-strong team, Muzmatch aims to transform how Muslims meet and marry. In the Gulf, the app's average user age is 30 years, for both men and women - while 45% of its users are Arab and 28% South Asian. The majority of its regional users are based in Saudi Arabia, followed by the UAE. Across the region, 20% of members are female, compared to the global average of 33%, and nearly half of all Muzmatch calls are initiated by women.
MUZMATCH - Muzmatch, the UK-based Muslim relationship and marriage app, is removing the ability to "swipe" through profiles after Tinder took the Muslim app to court for infringing its patent.
FORBES - May 26 - New data gathered by the dating app company S'More suggests that putting chemistry ahead of "hotness" and relationships over casual encounters may become the new norm in online dating, and some of the biggest players in the industry are getting in on the trend. S'More survey found that physical attraction was no longer rated as the most important factor when searching for a potential match. "Covid-19 certainly changed the equation," says CEO Cohen-Aslatei. "But beyond that, our data shows that people are starting to expect more from dating apps. They want real connections, not the fake photos and hyper-sexualization that has characterized so much of online dating over the past decade." S'More has developed a suite of features aimed to reduce the superficiality of online dating, and slow down the process. For one, users aren't able to view a clear photo of a potential match until they have had a meaningful conversation with that person. S'More is not alone in its effort. Tinder and Bumble recently added games to their video product, MeetMe added blurred video dating, and Chispa, a Match Group app for Latino and Latina singles, connects daters based on answers to trivia games. MuzMatch, a Muslim-focused dating app, also lets women keep their profiles blurred from men.
SKY NEWS - May 20 - Put 'arranged marriage UK' into Google search, and one of the first things to pop up is the UK government's guidelines concerning forced marriages which explain they are illegal. Dr Aisha K. Gill, a professor of criminology and an expert on forced marriage explained: "An arranged marriage is a marriage which is based on choice and consent, and that's absolutely key in understanding it. An arranged marriage is when someone else such as a family member, a matchmaker, even apps, helps you find a person to marry."