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Courting app Muzmatch could have to modify identify after trademark row

America relationship large in the back of Tinder and OkCupid has gained a court docket combat with a British relationship app for Muslims after accusing it of copying its product and services and products.

Muzmatch, the arena’s greatest Muslim relationship and marriage app, may just lose the proper to make use of its identify following the prison combat with Fit Crew, which additionally owns Hinge and Fit.com.

The United Kingdom highbrow belongings and endeavor court docket dominated that Muzmatch had infringed the trademark of Fit Crew, which claims to have “pioneered the idea that of on-line relationship” greater than twenty years in the past.

In his judgment, the deputy prime court docket pass judgement on Nicholas Caddick QC mentioned that this “would have led some customers to suppose that the products and services and products presented by means of Muzmatch had been someway attached with or derived from Fit”.

America conglomerate, which has a marketplace capitalisation of about $37bn, accused Muzmatch of “piggybacking on established relationship manufacturers” to support its good fortune.

It argued that Muzmatch, which has 6 million customers international, used “event” and “Tinder” in its web site metadata to force web site visitors to the platform.

In keeping with the American corporate, the British company extensively utilized key phrase tags together with “match-muslim” and “uk-muslim-match”, which it claimed had been an try to “trip at the coattails” of Fit’s registered emblems.

A Fit Crew spokesperson stated: “We’re happy that the court docket recognised what we’ve recognized to be true: that Muzmatch has unfairly benefited from Fit Crew’s popularity and funding in its logo and used to be using Fit Crew’s coattails for undeserved acquire on this extremely aggressive marketplace. We’ve, and can all the time give protection to the paintings, creativity and inventions of our workers, and are thankful that the court docket recognised this and dominated accordingly.”

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Muzmatch’s leader government, Shahzad Younas, stated he would enchantment towards the judgment however vowed to proceed the platform, even supposing it intended rebranding.

Younas, 37, a former Morgan Stanley banker who introduced Muzmatch in 2011 with the purpose of offering a protected setting for unmarried Muslims to satisfy on-line, added that he had spent $1m preventing Fit Crew in court docket in the United Kingdom and the United States.

He added: “The selection of Muslims locally, Muslim organisations, and people, companies, and so on, who’ve stated: ‘I’m so satisfied that you just’re preventing this and also you didn’t back off’ … For them, there used to be a concept at stake. Of their eyes, and we’ve heard this from shoppers as neatly, it’s so essential {that a} Muslim-led startup creates merchandise for the neighborhood.”

In its defence, Muzmatch stated it had selected the Muzmatch mark as a play on “Muslim” and “event”. The corporate argued that its web site and app obviously mentioned that it equipped matchmaking and advent services and products for Muslims who had been on the lookout for marriage, in line with Islamic values.

Fit Crew wrote to Muzmatch in 2016 alleging acts of trademark infringement and a yr later it attempted to procure the corporate. In general, 4 gives to procure the trade had been made, together with one for $35m, in line with Muzmatch, which rejected them. Fit stated it used to be approached by means of Younas for acquisition talks.

Fit Crew therefore purchased Harmonica, an Egyptian Muslim matchmaking app, which it renamed Hawaya.

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Fit has in the past been fascinated with prison disputes with the founders of rival Bumble and Tinder.