Two staples of the college dating app scene are gearing up for a legal battle.
In late March, Tinder’s parent company Match Group filed a lawsuit against Bumble claiming patent infringement. Bumble, an Austin-based app, countered with a suit of their own last week and is asking for $400 million in damages.
Match Group’s lawsuit claims Bumble copied Tinder’s swipe-left, swipe-right method and mutual opt-in premise.
“Bumble sought to mimic Tinder’s functionality, trade off of Tinder’s name, brand, and general look and feel ... and build a business entirely on a Tinder-clone, distinguished only by Bumble’s women-talk-first marketing strategy,” the lawsuit reads.
Bumble was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Whitney Wolfe, a Tinder co-founder and former executive. The app makes women initiate the conversation to give them more control than in traditional dating apps such as Tinder.
Both apps also market extensively toward college students. Bumble enlists women on campus as ambassadors to promote the app, and Tinder recently initiated a college “swipe-off” across 64 campuses including UT, promising the college with the most right swipes its own free Cardi B concert at the end of the month.
Before filing a countersuit, Bumble released a letter in direct response to Match Group and called the lawsuit “baseless.”
“We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us,” the letter stated. “We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games.”
International relations sophomore Minoo Ha said he has tried both apps but thought Bumble was a “knockoff” and disliked the one-sided restrictions on messaging.
“I feel like Bumble copied what Tinder did, and I was more accustomed to Tinder,” Ha said. “Plus, I don’t want to let opportunities to talk with someone go.”
Architectural engineering sophomore Grace Hannemann said she has also tried both apps before, but saw a sizable difference between the two because of Bumble’s emphasis on women.
“There were times I’d get really aggressive messages that I didn’t think were a reasonable response, and that only ever happened on Tinder,” Hannemann said. “On Bumble I never had any of those experiences.”
The drama between the companies is baseless, Hannemann said.
“They’re in the same realm but they each have different rules that attract different people,” Hannemann said. “I just don’t think they’re the same.”