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Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Tinder parent company Match.com has sued rival dating app Bumble, alleging patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Bottom line: Match had previously offered to buy Bumble for $450 million, and may be using this suit to restart those stalled negotiations.

Axios had reported last month that Tinder quietly secured patents on the swiping and double opt-in matching technology that feature prominently in Bumble's user interface. Those patents play a central role in the complaint, as do claims that two Bumble executives who previously worked at Tinder — Chris Gulczynski and Sarah Mick— misappropriated trade secrets involving unlaunched Tinder features that allegedly made their way into the Bumble app.

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe-Herd, who previously co-founded Tinder and later sued it for sexual harassment, is not named personally as a defendant.

A Match Group spokeswoman sent over the following statement:

Match Group has invested significant resources and creative expertise in the development of our industry-leading suite of products. We are committed to protecting the intellectual property and proprietary data that defines our business. Accordingly, we are prepared when necessary to enforce our patents and other intellectual property rights against any operator in the dating space who infringes upon those rights.

Axios has reached out to Bumble, but has not yet heard back. Below is a copy of the complaint.

Go deeper

1 min ago - Technology

Facebook stock whipsaws amid ad targeting concerns

Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook's stock showed volatility in after-hours trading Wednesday, despite adding users and beating on top and bottom lines.

Why it matters: Investors seem spooked by proposed changes to user data collection by Apple that would impact Facebook's ad business, in addition to perennial threats of new federal privacy regulations.

Fed chair says low interest rates aren't driving stock market prices

Jerome Powell. Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / Getty Images

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told reporters on Wednesday that rock-bottom interest rates aren't playing a role in driving stock prices higher, while noting that vulnerabilities to the financial system are "moderate."

Why it matters: The statement comes amid unshakeable stock prices and a Reddit-fueled market frenzy — prompting widespread fears of a bubble and the role monetary policy has played in that.

2 hours ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

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