Back in March, popular dating app Bumble filed a $400 million dollar lawsuit against Match Group, owners of the competing app, Tinder. Match tried to buy the competition last year – a move which the latter claims had messed with its business practices.
The lawsuit describes Match’s involvement as “fraudulent” in that they stole trade secrets during this case. Conversely, Match had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Bumble earlier that same month.
Allegation vs. Allegation
According to Bumble’s lawsuit, Match group’s lawsuit was utterly unnecessary. They say it only came after the former denied Match’s initial offer of $450 million:
“Unwilling to pay fair value for Bumble, Match tried to poison Bumble in the investment market by filing bogus intellectual property claims to wrongfully disparage the Bumble platform.”
Shortly afterward, Match responded to the countersuit, claiming it as “petulant and meritless:”
“This lawsuit is a petulant and meritless response to our patent and trade secret claims. Last week, Bumble claimed our complaint was baseless and won’t affect them, and this week they claim it is “chilling” the sale of their company. They also shockingly claim that our patents issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office are “bogus”. We obviously think their lawsuit has no substance and look forward to proving that in court.”
Interestingly, it seems that Match had valued the company higher. Shortly after the initial denial, Forbes reported that talks were still ongoing and that Match valued Bumble at “well over $1 billion.”
However, according to The Verge, Bumble is looking to drop the lawsuit it made so quickly after the initial issues. Apparently, Match filed a “notice of non-opposition” on Thursday. This means that it will allow the accusers to drop the allegations as long as the court frees Match from claims of stealing trade secrets.
Going All The Way
That said, Match wants even more out of the lawsuit. They also want the court to “validate its patents”. Tinder’s parent company is after their enemy for allegedly stealing its intellectual property.
In yesterday’s letter, Match claims that its competitor is simply after them to boost its reputation:
“After filing the lawsuit, Bumble went on a media barrage in an attempt to control the narrative related to the lawsuit,” the Match Group said in its filing. “This media barrage—related to the mere service of a lawsuit that had been filed half a year ago—was used as a hook to begin promoting the fact that Bumble was looking into conducting an Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange.”
Bumble counters this. Essentially they think that Match is challenging its IP out of spite instead of on any actual grounds
While Match is okay with them dropping the lawsuit, they first want all allegations to be brought over to their initial accusations of IP theft.
Supposedly, Bumble is looking to refile their case at a state level, says TechCrunch. However, Match says this isn’t possible, as a non-disclosure between Match and Worldwide Vision prevents it. Worldwide Vision owns Badoo, which is Bumble’s majority stakeholder. Should the app attempt a refile, they would only be able to in England and Wales.
All of the different allegations and lawsuits are confusing. However, it’s hard to ignore how similar the two applications are, and we can expect the story to keep developing.
In a statement to The Verge, Bumble further commented on the situation:
“Match’s latest litigation filings are part of its ongoing campaign to slow down Bumble’s momentum in the market. Having tried and failed to acquire Bumble, Match now seems bent on trying to impair the very business it was so desperate to buy. Bumble is not intimidated and will continue to defend its business and users against Match’s misguided claims.”