Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, is suing its major competitor, Bumble. It is accusing the dating app of patent infringement and stealing trade secrets. The lawsuit was filed Friday in Texas, and stated that Bumble is almost identical to Tinder after they copied the popularized swipe right to like and swipe left to dislike functionality of the app. The lawsuit also sites 2 features that Bumble implemented on its app that were allegedly learned of while the co-creators were still working at Tinder. Bumble was started by Whitney Wolfe Herd, after she left Tinder after alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. The Ex-Tinder employees, Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick followed Wolfe Herd and helped build Bumble in 2014. Bumble quickly became Tinder’s biggest competitor, with its unique female-based messaging. On Bumble, when there is a match it is up to the women to make the first move and commence a conversation through the app.
The 2 features in question in the lawsuit, that Tinder is alleging were learned about while the co-founders were still working at Tinder are the backtrack feature and photo messaging. The backtrack feature on Bumble is nearly identical to the undo button on Tinder, and the photo messaging that Gulczynski and Mick worked on were projects they worked on while they were at Tinder. This is the first time Match Group is enforcing the patents it has on Tinder. If what they are stating in their lawsuit is true, Match Group has the right to seek damages that they may have obtained from Bumble. Patents and Trade secrets drive value to any company. They help businesses stand out, they make them unique and help them compete in the market., Business owners must be prepared to protect their intellectual property so that they keep their business rather than lose their customers to competitors. Innovative companies all protect their products, by issuing patents, copyrights, and keeping trade secrets. Uniqueness helps increase sales and increases value. Businesses cannot afford to lose these to competitors. It takes money and time to build unique features in your business, and if you don’t protect your intellectual property, you will take on all of the cost of building something new but without all of the reward that follows.