Jewish dating site JDate sues rival JSwipe over use of letter 'J'

JSwipe’s owner, David Yarus describes it as a 'David and Goliath' fight

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The Independent US

Two of the world’s largest Jewish dating websites are at war over the use of the letter “J” in their titles. JSwipe is being sued by the long-established JDate, which claims to have “intellectual property over the letter ‘J’ within the Jewish dating scene”.

With legal costs mounting, JSwipe, a Tinder-inspired dating app specifically aimed at the Jewish community, has launched a crowd-funding website this week to help.

Describing it as a “David vs Goliath” fight, JSwipe’s owner, David Yarus, said his free app has 375,000 users in 70 different countries, and he has “great respect for those who came before us and others in the dating space. It appears that a corporation, which claims to care about the Jewish community, doesn’t feel the same way,” he wrote, referring to JDate’s parent, Spark Networks Inc.

By charging for JDate and other dating websites in its portfolio, he said that Spark earned more than £32 million a year, while his company was “a small team based out of a factory in Brooklyn”.

 

Consultants had warned him that they could face up to £320,000 in legal fees, he said, so he was hoping to raise around £115,000 from the site. By late on 11 August he had raised just over £11,000.

Referring to the branding as the “J family”, Spark claim they have intellectual property over the letter within the Jewish dating scene. JDate, launched in 1997, owns the patent on software that “confidentially determines matches in feelings and interests”.

Like Tinder, JSwipe notifies users when their romantic interest swipes right on their picture, something JDate claims violates their patent.

Spark’s chief executive officer told the New York Observer that they had tried to reach a solution with JSwipe that would allow them to co-exist.  “I think what JSwipe is doing right now is not really genuine,” he said. “They are sort of spreading some words in the market that don’t really truly explain the opportunities we gave them.”

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