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J-Fight! Popular Jewish Dating Apps Enter Legal Melee

To prepare for a battle over patents and trademarks with JDate, rival JSwipe has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for its fees

Jas Chana
August 07, 2015

Dating app JSwipe, AKA the Jewish Tinder, is facing a lawsuit issued by entrenched, larger online dating app, JDate. JDate, reported The New York Observer, is suing the startup because it claims that using the name ‘JSwipe’ infringes JDate’s trademark by using the letter ‘J.’ JDate is also claiming JSwipe infringes on its patented software that “confidentially determines matches and notifies users of mutual matches in feelings and interests.”

It perhaps seems petty, but Michael Egan, the CEO of JDate’s parent company, Spark Networks, which own a number of other dating sites, is taking the case very seriously. He told the Observer: “JSwipe’s recent attempts to disparage us and paint our legal case as simply a fight over a letter of the alphabet is a clear misrepresentation of the facts… They had multiple chances to forgo any litigation with us and repeatedly ignored our attempts to resolve this amicably.”

Egan continued: “This is not about us discouraging market competition. Our case against JSwipe is about their theft of our technology and their brazen attempt to build a business on the back of JDate.”

In order to fund the impending legal fees, JSwipe’s creator, David Yarus, has launched an Indiegogo campaign, titled “David vs. Goliath—Keep JSwipe alive!” He points out JDate’s $50-million-a-year corporate backer; to fight them, he writes that consultants have estimated that the case could cost “$300,000 to $500,000 in legal fees…ON TOP of the hundreds of thousands already billed.” The target for now is set at $180,000 and the page has currently raised $18,379 in the week it has been live.

Jas Chana is a former intern at Tablet.