"These are just stock elements of how interfaces look and operate."That hasn't stopped other dating apps from suing each other, though.In March, Match Group, which owns Tinder, sued competing dating app Bumble for violating its patents and trademarks, as well as misusing trade secrets.Hinge uses info from the social network to show you potential matches that have friends in common with you.You can also automatically pull in your Facebook photos and other information.(Utility patents protect new machines, processes, and other inventions).He specifically cites a landmark Supreme Court case from 2014 that found an abstract idea doesn't become eligible for a patent just because it's implemented on a computer.Instead, it works like Hinge, which has users scroll through detailed profiles.
Like most popular dating apps, Hinge also largely relies on Facebook data to operate; you even need a Facebook account to sign up, though the company says it's developing a workaround.
It’s gratifying to have one of the world’s biggest technology companies enter the dating space and draw so much inspiration from Hinge," Tim Mac Gougan, Hinge's vice president of product, said in an email.
"We’re interested to see how their product evolves as they find their footing, and we'll keep our focus on innovating at the forefront of the anti-swipe, pro-dating movement."Besides, it's not like Hinge can really do anything about it.
Again, Facebook Dating has yet to launch, so it's impossible to know exactly how much it has in common with Hinge.
But at first glance, they seem nearly identical, not just because they have the same features but also in the way they're designed.
Daniel Nazer, a staff attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's intellectual property team, thinks Tinder's case faces many of the same pitfalls.