Gone are the days of meeting people “the old-fashioned way.” Online dating has now become the preferred choice of many for meeting people. With such a highly competitive market, it is unsurprising that lawsuits should arise. Match Group, LLC, the wholly-owned subsidiary to Match Group, Inc., and owner of popular dating sites such as Match, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, and flagship brand Tinder, is suing Bumble, a dating app, for patent infringement.

Tinder is the dating app known for its famous swipeable cards that contain an image and details about a possible match. The app will locate possible matches based on the geographical proximity of the user to another Tinder user. A swipe right means the user is interested, a swipe left means the user is uninterested and the card will not show up again. If two users both swipe right on each other they can chat with each other through the app.

Tinder’s app was carefully constructed. Tinder has multiple utility and design patents, such as U.S. Patent No. 9,733,811, U.S. Patent No. D798,314, and U.S. Patent No. D781,311, the app has a trademark for the swipe mark, as well as copyright protection.

Another popular online dating app, Bumble, founded by previous Tinder employees, Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick, lets users swipe left and right, similar to Tinder, but allows users to go back if they accidentally swiped left on a person, a function Tinder does not have. Bumble also requires female users to initiate conversations if pursuing an opposite gender relationship; another feature Tinder not have but is in the works of implementing.

Many of Bumble’s features have been described as being similar to Tinder’s features with TechCrunch describing Bumble’s app as “almost identical to Tinder, complete with the design of the profile pages, settings, and swipe functionality.”

In the lawsuit, Match Group alleged Bumble “copied Tinder’s world-changing, card-swipe-based, mutual opt-in premise” and feel Bumble is “virtually identical” to Tinder. The lawsuit further alleged that Bumble’s founders implemented two features that were being secretly developed at Tinder indicating a breach in their confidentiality agreement. Match stated this case is “not about any Bumble personnel’s personal history with anyone previously at Tinder” rather it is about “forcing Bumble to stop competing with Match and Tinder using Match’s own inventions, patented designs, trademarks, and trade secrets.”

Bumble was founded in 2014 and since its inception it has become one of the most popular online dating sites around. According to Forbes, Bumble has more than 22 million followers and was expected to generate over $100 million in revenue in 2017.

In 2016, Match contacted Bumble and offered to buy the competing online dating company for $450 million. At that time Bumble refused the offer. Some believe Match bringing this lawsuit may be a bargaining chip to get Bumble to reconsider the offer. There would no longer be a need for a lawsuit if Bumble was acquired by Match Group.

A spokesperson for Match released the following statement:

Match Group has invested significant resources and creative expertise in the development of our industry-leading suite of products. We are committed to protecting the intellectual property and proprietary data that defines our business. Accordingly, we are prepared when necessary to enforce our patents and other intellectual property rights against any operator in the dating space who infringes upon those rights.

It will be interesting to see if the court swipes right or left on this case.