No love lost as Match brings Tinder lawsuit against Bumble

No love lost as Match brings Tinder lawsuit against Bumble

A legal battle is brewing in the world of dating apps.

On Friday, Match filed a lawsuit against Bumble, alleging the app has copied Tinder's "unique card-based swipe design".

The lawsuit is the first time that Match Group, which also owns dating sites Plenty of Fish and, has enforced the patents it secured on swiping and double opt-ins for dating matches on Tinder, according to a company spokesperson. By claiming that Bumble infringed on Match's patents by copying its "swipe-to-connect" app gesture and a proposed Tinder feature to let users retrieve the folks they accidentally skipped, Match appears to be negotiating leverage in the takeover talks that so far haven't led to a deal.

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Wolfe Herd issued a statement on Wednesday that supported the addition to Tinder's app: "We applaud any company making business decisions that empower women". The company reportedly offered $450 million for Bumble, according to TechCrunch, which the company declined. She eventually settled the lawsuit for approximately 1 million dollars.

The suit goes on to claim that the ex-Tinder employees knew of an "undo" button that the company was working on, which it said was "nearly, if not literally, identical" to Bumble's backtrack feature. Gulczynski and Mick, who are designers, are at the center of the stolen secret allegations in the suit.

Gulczynski and Mick also helped implement photo messaging at Bumble, something Gulczynski had allegedly mocked up a design for while at Tinder.

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Bumble's number of registered users previous year jumped 70% to more than 22 million, compared to Tinder's 46 million, according to Forbes.

CNN reports both Gulczynski and Mick have since left Bumble, and did not respond when the network reached out for comment on the lawsuit. 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.

Match Group has also accused Bumble's founding members of stealing proprietary information when they left Tinder to start Bumble.

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If true, it's certainly an unconventional way to encourage Bumble to join the Match Group portfolio.