Tinder Stings Bumble With A Lawsuit, Bumble Says It Swipes Left
Move aside Waymo v. Uber, there’s a new hot copyright infringement showdown in town - and this one involves modern day Cupid arrow providers Tinder and Bumble.
On Friday, Tinder parent company Match Group invited rival app Bumble to court in Texas, alleging that Bumble is “virtually identical to Tinder in its functionality and general look-and-feel.”
On Tuesday, Bumble rented a full page in The New York Times and Dallas Morning News stating that the company is choosing to swipe left on Tinder’s “attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games.”
It is the latest development in the Great American Dating App Saga that began when Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe left the company in 2014, hitting fellow cofounder Justin Mateen with a sexual harassment lawsuit. The matter was settled out of court and Wolfe received a reported $1 million. A few months after leaving Tinder, Wolfe founded the rival Bumble. Since then Match has tried to buy Bumble several times - including an unsuccessful $450 million bid in 2017.
What doesn’t make it easier for dating app behemoth Match Group (which also owns Match.com, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish), is Wolfe’s adamance about not selling to Match, stating in today's ad, “we'll never be yours.”
Match Group seems to have changed gears with this lawsuit that also prominently features ex-Tinder designers Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, who left Tinder to join Wolfe’s venture. Tinder claims IT introduced features at Bumble that were "learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder." None of the designers work at Bumble anymore, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Tinder and Bumble are both giants in the field so it’s by no means a David vs. Goliath thing. Bumble claims nearly 30 million users, whereas Tinder, one in the small field of swipe-for love-apps, stands at a reported 50 million plus.