Match Group, the owner of global dating app giants Tinder and Hinge, has filed lawsuits worth billions against Muzmatch.
Shahzad Younas, the mastermind behind the app that helps Muslims find love online, recently went public with the legal battle after Match Group refused to back down with their accusations.
In a blogpost posted to the official website, Younas outlined an entire timeline of events leading up to the most recent UK and US lawsuit, even going as far as to include the times that Match Group tried to buy Muzmatch, not just once, not just twice but three times, for a whopping 35 million dollars. However, he said that by the third offer, he “lost all interest” in selling it off and instead, continued to grow the business as much as he could. But it seems as though the rejection only fuelled Match Group.
Describing the entire ordeal as “ugly”, he wrote: “We are a small startup fighting to defend ourselves against the largest dating company in the world.”
He continued: “I, Shahzad Younas, set up Muzmatch as a website over 10 years ago (2011) as a side project whilst I was still working at Morgan Stanley to help my community. Mainstream services just didn’t cater to the needs of Muslims after a life partner, not casual dating.
“[It] was pretty revolutionary at the time. Muzmatch was and is the only app I have ever built. It’s the first global Muslim marriage app to exist.”
Match Group claims that Muzmatch’s branding and services are too similar to that of Tinder, including the app features, the colour palette and even the name – yeah, apparently Match Group refuses to let anyone else use the English word “match” in their name… Yikes.
Even though Younas refused to change the latter, he did in fact, change up the branding to replace the heart and font used in the official Muzmatch logo. Not only that, but later removed the “swipe” feature, just to cut all potential associations with the competitor brand.
Even though the opposing parties eventually managed to settle the US lawsuit after the pressure of extortionate fees, the one in the UK is still ongoing.
“Our UK lawsuit vs Match Group is still live, and we go to trial 17th/18th Jan at the UK IPEC. If we win? We’ve wasted nearly £1M on unnecessary unrecoverable legal fees. If we lose? We will be forced to change our brand name, and the name Muzmatch will die. We will likely have to pay material damages.
“We fight, because we must. It is crucial that products built for our community are built BY our community, and that we do not allow ourselves to be dictated and controlled by others.”
He also asked for prayers from the community and vowed to fight this until the very end.
Younas has been receiving an outpour of love and support online, with many accusing Match Group of using “bullying” tactics to back the smaller faith-based company into a corner.
“This is just bullying. Hope you will win in court. It sucks how childish (bigger) companies act like that,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Kudos to you guys for standing up for yourselves, when many others would have caved in. Wishing you all the best with the case and continued success,” added another.
Muzmatch has our full support. Imagine owning Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid as well as multiple other dating apps and still coming for a smaller brand like this? Do you not have enough money? Or is it out of jealousy? Just say you’re worried about it becoming more successful and move on with your lives – it would save everyone a lot of time and money.
Despite both outcomes of the lawsuit being unsatisfactory, we hope that Younas gets to keep his hard-earned brand intact so that Muslims can continue to find love online, in sha Allah.
A hearing is set to take place at the UK Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court in London on January 17th.