Bumble Wants Match’s ‘Baseless’ Trade Secrets Lawsuit Thrown Out

Bumble told Fortune it plans to file a motion Wednesday to dismiss Match’s lawsuit against the women-first dating app, claiming Match’s accusations of patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets are without merit.

In March, online dating giant Match, which owns Tinder, sued Bumble, a rival dating app launched by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, for stealing the now-common dating app swipe. Match has filed patent claims for that piece of app-based technology. Bumble responded with a lengthy countersuit that month and, after abandoning settlement talks, finally served Match with that lawsuit this week.

In addition to moving forward with its countersuit, Bumble wants Match’s initial lawsuit thrown out. “Bumble has today formally responded to Match’s lawsuit from March 2018 alleging patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. We believe all of the claims are baseless, and are seeking to have several claims dismissed immediately, given their lack of merit,” Bumble said in a statement.

Bumble, in its $400 million countersuit, alleged that Match brought a frivolous lawsuit after lowballing the Austin, Texas-based Bumble with an investment offer and using the pretense of investing to gain access to Bumble’s records and business strategies. Bumble accuses Match of tortious interference with Bumble’s prospective business relations, by preventing other companies from investing in or partnering with Bumble through its alleged bad faith investment attempts and lawsuit. Bumble also claims Match committed promissory estoppel by promising an investment that never materialized, and that it disparaged Bumble in the lawsuit and in the press. Other claims include unfair competition, violation of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and fraud, all stemming from Match’s extraction of Bumble company information.

“As stated previously, this was a thinly veiled attempt by Match to interfere with Bumble’s growth, as Bumble continues to take share from Tinder, and to scare potential suitors so Match could acquire Bumble at below market value,” Bumble’s statement says. “It also demonstrates an attempt by Match to monopolize the very practice of making real, meaningful connections. Match did not invent the world of dating; men and especially women everywhere deserve the opportunity to connect with who they want, on their terms, and Bumble will continue to stand up for our users and our values as we take this battle to court.”

Bumble, founded four years ago, has also questioned the legitimacy of Match’s patent filings.

The startup declined to make Wolfe Herd available for an interview to discuss the motion to dismiss, but Wolfe Herd said in an interview about Bumble’s countersuit last week that Bumble feels confident in its own case against the online dating giant.

“This is our lawsuit that we believe strongly in, we feel is extremely valid,” Wolfe Herd said. “There is real strength in the possibility of us having a successful win.”

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