(This Post first appeared in Jewlicious.)
According to Forbes Magazine, Jewish dating Web site JDate’s parent company, Spark Networks, filed a stealth lawsuit late last year against JSwipe claiming an intellectual property infringement over the use of the letter “J” for a Jewish dating brand. Additionally, JDate owns a 1999 patent on software that “confidentially determines matches and notifies users of mutual matches in feelings and interests.”
Like a typical patent troll. JDate’s patent is so broad that they could technically sue any dating website.
Forbes opined that the lawsuit might be a strategy to pressure JSwipe to sell their business to JDate – with the advent of Tinder-like, app based dating sites, JDate’s model risks becoming outdated. Sorry. No. The risk is long past. JDate’s model is outdated.
According to Spark’s 1st Quarter 10Q for 2015, JDate was down to 69, 632 paid members. In 2014 at the same time period, JDate had 80, 395 paid members and in 2009, 92, 719. An acquisition of JSwipe would bring with it new technology and 375, 000 members – not paying members but still a nice number to monetize. The strategy also seems like a good one because JSwipe is a new company with limited resources and currently does not have the money to properly fight such an action. JSwipe is reportedly trying to crowdfund the $500, 000 it will need to defend itself against JDate.
On the other hand, such a move by Spark Networks would be perceived as really scummy and would further cement JDate’s shitty business reputation. I don’t want JDate to succeed in this frivolous activity because, I don’t know – people have met each other at the Jewlicious Festival. Does that mean we’ll have to change the site to Ewlicious? Because fucking JDate owns the letter J?
That’s ridiculous. I hope JDate realizes that all the negative publicity fostered by these shenanigans will not serve them well. Or maybe it’s just time to contemplate a world without JDate? One where Jews looking to meet other Jews will use Tinder/Grindr style apps and sites like JDate will simply be consigned to the dustbin of internet history. Like MySpace. Shalom motherfuckers!