A Muslim relationship and marriage app, Muzmatch, misplaced a prison fight on Wednesday towards the homeowners of Tinder, one of the most international’s hottest relationship apps, after a British courtroom dominated that the start-up had infringed at the multibillion-dollar corporate’s logos.
Fit Workforce — a relationship web page conglomerate that owns Fit.com, OKCupid and Hinge in addition to Tinder — sued Muzmatch for infringing on its trademarked emblem, the use of “fit” in its identify and “unfairly reaping rewards” from the corporate’s recognition and funding in its model.
The ruling, from the Highbrow Assets Undertaking Court docket in London, may imply that Muzmatch, which says it has six million customers around the globe, will have to alternate its identify and pay damages. Its founder and leader govt, Shahzad Younas, mentioned Muzmatch would report an attraction.
“We’re extra centered than ever on our undertaking of reworking how Muslims meet and marry,” he mentioned.
Fit Workforce mentioned it was once “happy that the courtroom identified what we’ve recognized to be true: that Muzmatch has unfairly benefited from Fit Workforce’s recognition and funding in its model and was once driving Fit Workforce’s coattails for undeserved achieve on this extremely aggressive marketplace.”
In its courtroom paperwork, Fit argued that its dominance within the on-line relationship marketplace intended customers would mistakenly think Muzmatch was once a “sub-brand” in particular focused at Muslim customers as a result of its use of “fit” in its identify.
Muzmatch mentioned “fit” was once merely an English phrase related to matchmaking.
Mr. Younas, a former funding banker, began Muzmatch in 2011, aiming to lend a hand unmarried Muslims in finding spouses on-line in ways in which have been suitable with Islamic values. A cell app was once presented in 2015. The carrier is ceaselessly indexed a few of the main relationship apps for Muslims, and has attracted $9 million in financing.
Match Group, based totally in the US, reported $3 billion in earnings closing yr and greater than 16 million paying consumers.
The dispute is going again to 2016 when Fit objected to the start-up’s trademark registration for “Muzmatch” in Europe and the United States. Legal professionals from Fit additionally objected to the usage of a center and the font in Muzmatch’s emblem on the time, that have been in the end got rid of.
As Muzmatch’s consumer base grew, Fit made approaches to shop for the corporate, in the end providing as much as $35 million in 2019, Mr. Younas mentioned.
Satisfied that the conglomerate may now not lend a hand the app develop, Mr. Younas, Muzmatch’s sole director, grew to become the be offering down. Later that yr, Match acquired Harmonica, a Muslim relationship start-up in Egypt.
Fit didn’t ascertain whether or not it were desirous about purchasing Muzmatch or whether or not Muzmatch’s description of the method was once correct.
Mr. Younas mentioned he was once involved that the courtroom ruling can have a chilling impact on smaller corporations within the tech trade.
“That is simply their tactic,” he mentioned. “They’ll courtroom you, they’ll get your information, they’ll try to purchase you, and when that doesn’t paintings, they’ll both pass after a competitor or they’ll simply kill you,” Mr. Younas mentioned. “One million greenbacks for them in prison charges is small alternate. For us, it’s the whole lot.”