Since the past few months, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court has been witnessing a deep tussle between two dating companies. Match.com and Muzmatch, were both involved in a legal question that whether Muzmatch infringed upon the trademarks of Match.com.
Muzmatch is a new dating platform that is aimed for Muslim couples. The company provides an opportunity for the users to meet each other in accordance with the Islamic law. The platform has been getting popular amongst people, with users in Hundreds of thousands, just in London alone. The company operates at the domain name Muzz.com.
Match.com on the other hand has been in the industry for a very long time. The domain name Match.com was registered way back in 1996. The company has acquired a distinctive status in the usage of the MATCH.COM mark. In a survey a substantial proportion of people spelled out the company’s name, when asked about the first dating platform that comes to their mind.
Not only Match.com, but the company also owns dating platforms like Hinge and Tinder. Yes, the Complainant also owns Tinder as well as the trademark TINDER. The Complainant claimed that the Defendant was trespassing on its registered trademarks.
The Respondent argued that the commonality between the two names was ‘Match’, and was generic in nature. Any mention of it was unlikely to create confusion, owing to its generic nature.
However the Court found that there were a lot of similarities between the two names and merely adding the ‘MUZ’ mark won’t give it any specificity. The panel also found out that the Respondent had used certain terms in their website to become more visible to the users. These terms included ‘muslim-tinder’, ‘tinder’ and ‘halal-tinder’. The Respondent had also used the term ‘UK Muslim Match’.
Match.com owns the trademark rights for TINDER as well as MATCH.COM. The Respondent was thus infringing upon the trademarks of the Complainant, by using the Complainant’s established goodwill for its own benefit.
The Court decided in favor of Match.com. Muzmatch even went to appeal the ruling recently, however, the appeal was rejected.