Recently, Tinder’s parent company Match Group announced that it’s suing Bumble for “infringing on two Tinder patents.” The lawsuit wasn’t particularly shocking, as the two companies have been rivals for a while now. But today, things got a bit more dramatic: Bumble clapped back at Tinder’s lawsuit with a full-page, anti-bullying, woman-forward ad in The New York Times, and honestly, we’re leaning #TeamBumble.
Match Group filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Bumble on March 16th, saying that Bumble copied some of Tinder’s designs. The lawsuit specifically mentions the swiping feature, and says that Bumble looks “virtually identical” to Tinder. Match Group also claims that some features on Bumble were “learned of and developed confidentially while at Tinder.”
Bumble’s founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, created the app after working at Tinder for years. After leaving Tinder, Herd sued the company for sexual harassment. (See where the bad breakup part comes in?) Match Group alleges that Herd, along with Bumble’s other co-creator, stole information from Tinder while they worked there and used it to create Bumble.
Today, Bumble responded… in a seriously epic way.
The company took out a full-page ad in Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times to voice its feelings about Match Group.
It’s worth noting that Match Group has tried to buy Bumble in the past — the company previously sent a $450 million offer to Bumble, which Bumble turned down. Since then, Tinder has added a feature that Bumble started: the ladies first feature. It’s admittedly kind of strange that Match Group tried to acquire Bumble, then copied its main feature, and is now suing Bumble for copying Tinder. And it’s clear that Bumble isn’t going to put up with it.
Here is Bumble’s letter in full:
Dear Match Group,
We swipe left on you. We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us.
We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values.
We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games. We swipe left on your assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate us. Given your enduring interest in our company, we expected you to know us a bit better by now.
We — a woman-founded, women-led company — aren’t scared of aggressive corporate culture. That’s what we call bullying, and we swipe left on bullies. Ask the thousands of users we’ve blocked from our platform for bad behavior.
In fact, that behavior? It only fuels us. It motivates us to push our mission further — to work harder each day to build a platform, community, and brand that promotes kindness, respect, and equality. That’s the thing about us. We’re more than a feature where women make the first move. Empowerment is in our DNA. You can’t copy that.
So when you announced recently, in another attempt to intimidate us, that you were going to try to replicate our core, women-first offering and plug it in to Tinder, we applauded you for the attempt to make that subsidiary safer.
We strive every day to protect our nearly 30 million users, and to engineer a more accountable environment. Instead of swinging back and forth between trying to buy us, copy us, and sue us, why don’t you spend that time taking care of bad behavior on your platforms?
We remain focused on improving our users’ experience, and taking our mission worldwide, until every woman knows she has the power to make the first move, to go after what she wants, and to say “no” without fear.
We as a company will always swipe right for empowered moves, and left on attempts to disempower us. We encourage every user to do the same. As one of our mottos goes, “Bee kind or leave.”
We wish you the best, but consider yourselves blocked.
In an interview with Mashable, Bumble founder Herd said, “We are going to tell our full side of the story in court, and we feel confident in that.”
We have to admit: we’re really curious to see who wins this battle.