JDate and JSwipe couple up after legal spat

Spark Networks, owner of veteran Jewish dating service JDate, announces that it has bought Smooch Labs, the company behind mobile dating app JSwipe.

By JTA
October 17, 2015 16:32
1 minute read.
date

A couple on a date [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Just months after a public battle over the trademark of the letter “J,” Jewish dating services JDate and JSwipe have kissed and coupled up.

Spark Networks, owner of JDate and several other non-Jewish dating sites, announced on Wednesday that it had bought Smooch Labs, the company behind mobile dating app JSwipe. The purchase price will be announced when Spark Networks releases its fourth quarter finances.

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JDate, an older and larger website, sued fledgling competitor JSwipe in November 2014. In the lawsuit, JDate claimed that it had a trademark on the letter “J” among dating sites and a patent on technology that helps users find matches. JSwipe’s founder David Yarus launched an unsuccessful Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign to try to raise money to pay for over $300,000 in legal fees.

Yarus’ tune had changed in the Spark Networks news release announcing the sale.

“In talking with the new management team at Spark it was clear that we share the same mission and our combined know-how will help us better serve the Jewish community into the future,” he said. “Everyone at Smooch Labs is excited to join the Spark team.”

The news release hinted that Spark Networks will add paid premium services to the JSwipe app, which is currently free.

JDate boasts over 750,000 users, while the news release hints that JSwipe’s user base has surpassed 450,000.

JSwipe is modeled on the dating app Tinder, which is popular among millennials and was one of the first so-called “swiping apps,” which allow users to use a quick swipe motion to choose between photos of users.


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