• Monday, June 17, 2024

Business

Muzz loses appeal against Match Group in trademark infringement case

American internet and technology company Match Group had sued Muzz – previously known as muzmatch.com – accusing it of using the word “match” in its metadata

Match Group, which is behind Tinder and OkCupid, accused Muzmatch of copying its product and services. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Muslim dating app Muzz has lost its appeal against a court ruling which mandated the British startup to change its name over “trademark infringement”.

American internet and technology company Match Group had sued Muzz – previously known as muzmatch.com – accusing it of using the word “match” in its metadata to help it appear more prominently in internet searches.

A UK court last year agreed with Match’s demand that muzmatch.com should change its name, saying the similarities in the names would have led some consumers to assume that the services offered by Muzmatch were connected to Match.

Now the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling against Muzz, which said the latest legal action was “deeply worrying” for other start-ups in the dating sector.

Match, whose portfolio of online dating services include Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge, has welcomed the judgment, saying Muzz had unfairly benefitted from “our reputation and investment in our brands”.

Muzz was “unrightfully riding Match Group’s coat-tails for its own gain”, a Match spokesperson told the BBC.

The Dallas-based company also said it would continue to protect the creativity of its employees and “spark meaningful connections for all singles, of all backgrounds, all around the world.”

London-based former investment banker Shahzad Younas, who founded Muzz in 2015 to help Muslims around the world to find their marriage partners, said Match’s legal action was aimed at maintaining its “globally dominant position”.

He said the American company should innovate and build better products instead of “using such lazy and predatory tactics” against its rivals.

Younas, who had worked for Morgan Stanley for nine years before quitting his job to focus on building the mobile app, claimed he turned down Match’s offer to acquire his business on four occasions.

The legal case brought by Match cost his firm “almost $2m” in legal fees and damages, which was “precious working capital for a start-up such as ours”, Younas said.

It was clear Match would do everything it could “to kill us” to maintain its “near monopoly on the global dating market,” he told the BBC.

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