A Muslim dating and marriage app, Muzmatch, misplaced a authorized battle on Wednesday against the homeowners of Tinder, one of many world’s hottest dating apps, after a British court docket dominated that the start-up had infringed on the multibillion-dollar firm’s logos.
Match Group — a dating site conglomerate that owns Match.com, OKCupid, Hinge in addition to Tinder — sued Muzmatch for infringing on its trademarked brand, the usage of “match” in its identify and for “unfairly benefiting” from the corporate’s status and funding in its model.
The ruling, from the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in London, may imply that Muzmatch, which says it has six million customers world wide, should change its identify and pay damages. Its founder and chief government, Shahzad Younas, introduced the information on Wednesday, saying Muzmatch would file an attraction. “We’re more focused than ever on our mission of transforming how Muslims meet and marry,” he mentioned.
Match Group mentioned it was “pleased that the court recognized what we have known to be true: that Muzmatch has unfairly benefited from Match Group’s reputation and investment in its brand and was riding Match Group’s coattails for undeserved gain in this highly competitive market.”
In its court docket paperwork, Match argued that the corporate’s dominance within the on-line dating market meant customers would mistakenly assume Muzmatch was a “sub-brand” particularly focused at Muslim customers due to its use of “match” in its identify.
Muzmatch mentioned that “match” was merely an English phrase related to matchmaking.
Mr. Younas, a former funding banker, began Muzmatch in 2011, aiming to assist single Muslims discover spouses on-line in ways in which had been suitable with Islamic values. A cell app was launched in 2015. The service is usually listed among the many main dating apps for Muslims, and has attracted $9 million in financing.
Match Group, primarily based within the United States, reported $3 billion in income final 12 months and greater than 16 million paying prospects.
The dispute goes again to 2016, when Match objected to the start-up’s trademark registration for “Muzmatch” in Europe and the United States. Lawyers from Match additionally objected to the usage of a coronary heart and the font kind in Muzmatch’s brand on the time, which had been ultimately eliminated.
As Muzmatch’s person base grew, Match made approaches to purchase the corporate, ultimately providing as much as $35 million in 2019, Mr. Youngas mentioned.
Convinced that the conglomerate couldn’t assist the app develop, Mr. Younas, Muzmatch’s sole director, turned the provide down. Later that 12 months Match acquired Harmonica, a Muslim dating begin up in Egypt.
Match didn’t verify whether or not it was considering shopping for Muzmatch or whether or not Muzmatch’s description of the method was correct.
Mr. Younas mentioned he was involved the court docket ruling may have a chilling impact on smaller corporations within the tech industry.
“This is just their tactic,” he mentioned. “They’ll court you, they’ll get your data, they’ll try and buy you, and when that doesn’t work, they’ll either go after a competitor, or they’ll just kill you,” Mr. Younas mentioned. “A million dollars for them in legal fees is small change. For us, it’s everything.”