Tinder’s parent company Match Group, files a lawsuit against Bumble due to allegations of patent infringement
By: Brandy Bond, Staff Writer
There is no question that dating apps have revolutionized the dating scene and have changed it forever. With the click of a button or a swipe of the finger, single individuals have the dating options of their preference at the tip of their fingers. Many see it as a complete destruction of the work deemed to be necessary for developing a positive relationship. However, others see it as the best thing that has ever happened to the dating world. No matter what you are looking for in a partner, there is probably a dating app made just for you. From Tinder to Her, Bumble to Grinder, the options are endless—which is why these apps have become so popular.
Anyone with a smart phone has probably seen or used the infamous Tinder and Bumble dating apps. Both apps are extremely innovative and have become major hits in the dating world. Everyone seems to know someone who uses these apps or uses them themselves. These are probably the most likely reason why these two companies have become such fierce competitors. Although Bumble is still very new, from the beginning of its launch, the app has become a fantastic hit. However, anyone who has used both of these apps knows that the Bumble setup is very similar to that of Tinder’s. The two apps, although visibly different, both allow you to send requests to those they are interested in, simply via swiping left or right. So, ostensibly, these apps are very similar and this similarity has become so apparent that Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, decided to file a lawsuit against Bumble for patent infringement.
Match Group is a large company that has become a super power within the online dating world. In addition to the app Tinder, Match Group owns multiple popular online dating outlets such as Plenty of Fish and Match.com. This makes the corporation a powerful competitor against the start-up Bumble. However, in light of this intimidation, Bumble is refusing to back down, stating that under no circumstance will they “compromise their values.”
Although both apps have a considerable amount of similarities, there is a specific defining feature that makes Bumble such a strong competitor. Unlike Tinder, Bumble requires the female user to send the request rather than the male. This concept was developed by the Bumble creators as they wanted to put in place a feature that could allow women to feel safer while using online dating apps. This simple feature that many believe helps to empower women, has made the app extremely popular. This has prompted the powerhouse Match Group to become very interested in adding the start-up to their already large company.
Before the lawsuit was filed, the two companies had a longstanding history of animosity which likely contributed to their rivalry. This tension started before the bumble app was even launched. Originally, Whitney Wolfe Herd, CEO of Bumble, was an employee at the Tinder company and had left on some less desirable terms that ended in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Both Herd and the Tinder company came to an agreement that suited both parties. However, they seemed to be taken back by Herd’s boldness when she launched Bumble in 2014 along with two other Tinder employees she had recruited. After leaving Tinder, Herd was motivated to create a platform that truly inspired and enabled women to take charge of their love life and she was able to convince both Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick to join her in this mission.
Chris and Sarah were allegedly both rising stars at the Tinder company which contributes to why Match Group believes that many of their company secrets have been stolen. According to Match Group, much of the technology used and the design of the app is similar if not the same. They also claim that many of the new features developed by Bumble are simply just ideas that Tinder had already started developing while both Chris and Sarah still worked for the company. Therefore, Tinder proposes that Bumble is simply stealing their ideas and using them for their own benefit, and according to Tinder, this constitutes the grounds for patent infringement.
Although it seems that Tinder has developed a fair case, many wonder if this lawsuit is truly because the company is “committed to protecting the intellectual property and proprietary data” that defines their business. Supposedly, Match Group had been in contact with Bumble throughout the course of the year in hopes of buying them out. And last summer, Match Group offered the company 450 million dollars, but while the offer was rejected, Match Group remained interested. It wasn’t until last week, after the lawsuit was filed, when the two companies ceased any contact between them. Due to Match Group’s interest in the purchase of Bumble, many wonder if this lawsuit is an intimidation tactic to get Bumble to sell. However, , Herd has stated publicly in an ad on the app, that she will not sell regardless of the price tag: “We as a company will always swipe right for empowered moves, and left on attempts to disempower us. We encourage every user to do the same. As one of our mottos goes, ‘bee kind or leave.’”