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Muslim dating app Muzmatch loses trademark fight with Tinder owner

Muslim dating app Muzmatch lost a trademark fight with Match Group after a London judge ruled it infringed Match’s copyright with the use of its name.

Lawyers for Match Group, which owns Tinder and Hinge as well as, accused Muzmatch at a hearing in January of “free riding” on its reputation for becoming a major player in the online dating market.

A judge agreed, concluding on Wednesday that Muzmatch’s various trademarks and logos were “misrepresentations” and could lead people to assume the app was connected to Match Group products.

“Muzmatch was actually taking advantage of that reputation and that investment and doing it without paying,” Judge Nicholas Caddick said in a written decision. Muzmatch now risks losing his name unless he appeals the decision.

Match Group has been at odds with Muzmatch for some time, having successfully challenged Muzmatch’s trademark registrations in the EU and UK since 2016.

The group had made several attempts to buy the Muslim dating app between 2017 and 2019, Muzmatch’s lawyers said at the January hearing.

“We have and will always protect the work, creativity and innovations of our employees, and we are grateful that the court recognized this and ruled accordingly,” a Match Group spokesperson said in a statement.

Muzmatch was created by Shahzad Younas in 2011 as a side project to his work at Morgan Stanley’s investment bank to help single Muslims find marriage with an emphasis on Islamic values.

“It’s a disappointing result, but I’m mostly concerned about the chilling effect on the tech industry,” Younas said in an email. “What does it say when a multi-billion dollar company can use its clout to stifle competition?” The company said it was considering its options for an appeal.

Updated: April 20, 2022, 2:06 p.m.