Bumble is looking to drop its $400 million countersuit against Tinder’s parent company — Match Group — nearly a month after it officially filed the case, according to documents filed in a Texas court last month. Yesterday, Match filed a notice of non-opposition, essentially saying that it’s okay with Bumble dropping its claims so long as the court issues declaratory judgments absolving Match from allegedly stealing Bumble’s trade secrets. Match is also hoping the court will issue declaratory judgments validating its patents and Bumble’s alleged infringement of them, which are involved in its original lawsuit from March. Both companies seem okay backing away from this case for now, but Match seems to want to get some absolution out of it, especially if it’ll benefit the company’s lawsuit against Bumble.
Even if this countersuit ultimately doesn’t go forward, that doesn’t resolve the bad blood between the two companies. They’re still involved in the separate, original lawsuit that claims Bumble ripped off Tinder’s intellectual property.
Match writes in yesterday’s notice that it sees Bumble’s countersuit as serving only as a publicity stunt to bolster its reputation.
“After filing the lawsuit, Bumble went on a media barrage in an attempt to control the narrative related to the lawsuit,” the Match Group said in its filing. “This media barrage—related to the mere service of a lawsuit that had been filed half a year ago—was used as a hook to begin promoting the fact that Bumble was looking into conducting an Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange.”
The two companies have duked it out for some time, with things heating up after Match Group failed to acquire Bumble. After the acquisition failure, Bumble claims (in this lawsuit that could be dropped) that Match filed its lawsuit challenging the IP of Bumble’s swiping features and gestures out of spite and to tarnish the app’s name. Bumble also claims in its countersuit that Match only pursued the initial acquisition to steal trade secrets from the company.
Match says it isn’t opposed to the company dropping the suit, but is also asking that any declaratory judgments be brought to the federal level in the Western District of Texas where the separate IP suit is pending, presumably so it can use them to bolster its original lawsuit.
Bumble is also reportedly looking to refile this suit at the state level, according toTechCrunch,which Match claims would be invalid according to a non-disclosure agreement between Match and a company called Worldwide Vision, which owns Badoo, the majority stakeholder in Bumble. This agreement, Match says, would only allow Bumble to refile its case in England and Wales. The case is messy and fraught, and even with Bumble attempting to drop its case, the drama will probably keep going.
“Match’s latest litigation filings are part of its ongoing campaign to slow down Bumble’s momentum in the market,” Bumble said in a statement toThe Verge. “Having tried and failed to acquire Bumble, Match now seems bent on trying to impair the very business it was so desperate to buy. Bumble is not intimidated and will continue to defend its business and users against Match’s misguided claims.”