In a dating-app-metaphor laden public note, Bumble accused Match Group of resorting to the lawsuit because their attempts to purchase and imitate Bumble had failed. The letter called the lawsuit a “baseless” attempt at intimidation, and vowed that it wouldn’t work. Bumble emphasized its commitment to female empowerment and implied that there was enough space in the market for both apps. A snippet:
The letter did not address the central allegation in the lawsuit—that Bumble improperly used Tinder’s intellectual property.
Bumble is similar to Tinder, except women have to make the first move on the app. The approach is intended to reverse gender norms and help create an environment with less harassment than other forums. Tinder recently announced it would launch a similar feature in its next update, but women will have to opt in.
Match Group’s complaint claims that Bumble copied Tinder’s “card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise” and that third parties said Bumble was “virtually identical” to Tinder upon its release. Because the founders of Bumble are ex-Tinder executives, Match, which owns Tinder, claims they improperly used Tinder’s intellectual property.
Whitney Wolfe, the founder and CEO of Bumble, was a co-founder of Tinder. In 2014, she sued the company and its then-parent company IAC for sexual harassment. The lawsuit ended in a settlement that was reportedly just over $1 million.