Pop quiz time! Who owns Tinder, OkCupid, Match.com, and Plenty of Fish? If you said Match Group, Inc., you're correct and you should treat yourself to a cookie.
After failing to buy Tinder/OkCupid/Match/PoF competitor Bumble last year for a reported $450 million, the parent company behind all of the aforementioned popular dating services is now suing the dating app for infringing on two of its patents.
According to the lawsuit, Match Group is claiming Bumble, which was created by ex-Tinder executives, rips off Tinder almost in its entirety, with the exception of its 'women-talk-first marketing strategy.'
Match Group alleges Bumble not only copied Tinder's now iconic swipe-based matching interface, but former employees Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick stole features for the dating app that were originally developed while they were at Tinder, such as the ability to undo an accidental wrong 'swipe left' (rejection) on someone.
'To be clear, this case is not about any Bumble personnel’s personal history with anyone previously at Tinder,' the case complaint reads. 'Rather, this case is simply about forcing Bumble to stop competing with Match and Tinder using Match’s own inventions, patented designs, trademarks, and trade secrets. Match brings this complaint to stop Bumble’s unlawful use of this intellectual property.
Match Group sent the following statement to Recode:
'Match Group 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. 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.'
We've reached out to both Bumble and Match Group, and will update this story if either company shares additional info.