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Relationship app Muzmatch might have to vary identify after trademark row

The US courting large behind Tinder and OkCupid has received a court docket battle with a British courting app for Muslims after accusing it of copying its product and providers.

Muzmatch, the world’s largest Muslim courting and marriage app, may lose the precise to make use of its identify following the authorized battle with Match Group, which additionally owns Hinge and Match.com.

The UK mental property and enterprise court docket dominated that Muzmatch had infringed the trademark of Match Group, which claims to have “pioneered the idea of on-line courting” greater than 20 years in the past.

In his judgment, the deputy excessive court docket decide Nicholas Caddick QC acknowledged that this “would have led some shoppers to imagine that the products and providers supplied by Muzmatch had been someway linked with or derived from Match”.

The US conglomerate, which has a market capitalisation of about $37bn, accused Muzmatch of “piggybacking on established courting manufacturers” to enhance its success.

It argued that Muzmatch, which has 6 million customers worldwide, used “match” and “Tinder” in its web site metadata to drive web site visitors to the platform.

In accordance with the American firm, the British agency additionally used key phrase tags together with “match-muslim” and “uk-muslim-match”, which it claimed had been an try and “trip on the coattails” of Match’s registered emblems.

A Match Group spokesperson stated: “We’re happy that the court docket recognised what now we have identified to be true: that Muzmatch has unfairly benefited from Match Group’s status and funding in its model and was driving Match Group’s coattails for undeserved achieve on this extremely aggressive market. We have now, and can all the time shield the work, creativity and improvements of our workers, and are grateful that the court docket recognised this and dominated accordingly.”

Muzmatch’s chief govt, Shahzad Younas, stated he would enchantment towards the judgment however vowed to proceed the platform, even when it meant rebranding.

Younas, 37, a former Morgan Stanley banker who launched Muzmatch in 2011 with the intention of offering a protected setting for single Muslims to satisfy on-line, added that he had spent $1m preventing Match Group in court docket within the UK and the US.

He added: “The variety of Muslims in the neighborhood, Muslim organisations, and people, companies, and many others, who’ve stated: ‘I’m so glad that you simply’re preventing this and also you didn’t again down’ … For them, there was a precept at stake. Of their eyes, and we’ve heard this from prospects as nicely, it’s so vital {that a} Muslim-led startup creates merchandise for the group.”

In its defence, Muzmatch stated it had chosen the Muzmatch mark as a play on “Muslim” and “match”. The corporate argued that its web site and app clearly acknowledged that it supplied matchmaking and introduction providers for Muslims who had been in search of marriage, in accordance with Islamic values.

Match Group wrote to Muzmatch in 2016 alleging acts of trademark infringement and a 12 months later it tried to accumulate the corporate. In complete, 4 gives to accumulate the enterprise had been made, together with one for $35m, in keeping with Muzmatch, which rejected them. Match stated it was approached by Younas for acquisition talks.

Match Group subsequently purchased Harmonica, an Egyptian Muslim matchmaking app, which it renamed Hawaya.

Match has beforehand been concerned in authorized disputes with the founders of rival Bumble and Tinder.