Oy gevalt. This is actually happening. JDate is suing JSwipe… over the use of the letter J.
No, this isn’t an Onion article. According to Forbes, JDate’s parent company discreetly filed the lawsuit against JSwipe last year, “claiming intellectual property over the letter “J” within the Jewish dating scene”.
Weirder still, JDate claims it owns the patent on software that “confidentially determines matches and notifies users of mutual matches in feelings and interests.”
It may seem strange, but JDate’s claim is actually based in fact. The company’s 1999 patent is so broad, that JDate could technically sue any dating website online today, from OkCupid to Tinder, causing an online dating apocalypse (Will people have to meet at bars again?! AUGH.)
According to Forbes’ Gregory Ferenstein, it’s possible that the lawsuit is a strategy to pressure JSwipe to sell their business to JDate. According to this Daily Beast article from last January, JSwipe has more than 165,000 users in more than 70 countries, and seems to be the biggest out of the other J-titled dating venues. And JSWipe’s founder, David Yarus, updates that since then, the number has risen to over 375,000 members.
JDate would have to prove that people may think the two websites are related, or mistake one for the other. But if you ask me, mistaking JSwipe for JDate would be like mistaking matzoh balls for gefilte fish. The two Jewish dating sites couldn’t possibly have a more different vibe.
From where I’m standing, this lawsuit looks totally meshugge. I mean what’s next? Many Jewish couples meet at J Street conferences… Should the organization’s lawyers be expecting a phone call?
Should the MTA be worried? After all, Jews may hook up on the J train on their way to catch a flight to Israel.
What about the Jewish couples locking eyes on the dance floor to a Jessie J or Jay-Z song?
At least Sesame Street can breathe a sigh of relief - I’m sure (or at least, I hope) no Jewish couples have met while watching the following video: