The past couple of weeks have been huge for the dating app circles. Match Group (parent company of Tinder, Match.com, and PlentyOfFish) filed a lawsuit against Bumble for patent infringements. Included in the infringements claimed is the “Matching Process System and Method”. This is essentially the “swipe” left and right features of the app. The other patent infringement is what Match calls the “Display Screen or Portion Thereof With a Graphical User Interface of a Mobile Device”. Along with these, Match was also unhappy with Bumble’s usage of the phrase “swiping”, as the term is trademarked. While this may all seem fairly unimportant, the biggest player in regards to the lawsuit is Whitney Wolfe Herd, co-founder of Tinder and founder of Bumble.
Whitney was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and attended Southern Methodist University where she studied international studies. While in school, at age 19, she started a business selling bamboo tote bags to help areas affected by the BP Oil Spills. She partnered with a celebrity stylist to launch “Help Us Project”, and the bags received national press. At age 22, Wolfe joined the Tinder dating app with Sean Rad and Chris Gulczynski in 2012. Just before Christmas in 2013, Whitney Wolfe met Michael Herd in Aspen on a ski trip. In September 2017, the couple were married in Italy.
In 2014, Whitney left Tinder. She was the Vice President of Marketing, and is credited for gaining popularity for the app at college campuses. Her departure was in part due to rising tensions with company executives, but after she left, Wolfe filed a lawsuit against Tinder for sexual harassment and received a $1 million settlement as well as stock in the company. Wolfe then moved to Austin, Texas and founded Bumble, a dating app that gives women more control.
During a recent interview with SXSW in Austin, Whitney answered some pressing questions about Bumble. She spoke about the Bumble BFF and Bizz features, which allow social networking for strictly platonic or business relationships. Whitney also mentioned she wants her app to continue to have a place in the #metoo movement. Bumble also banned photos of guns after the February 14 Parkland school shooting in Florida.
After the lawsuit was filed against Bumble, the company released an open letter stating “We swipe left on you. We swipe left on your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us, and, now, to intimidate us.”