Journal of Intellectual Property Law


A new method of meeting others and dating online has emerged amid today’s age of technology. Online dating, now largely facilitated through apps, has grown exponentially since its genesis. With this growth, online dating services have sought intellectual property protection. This Note examines the patentability of dating app features, primarily the digital user interface through the backdrop of a recent dispute between Tinder and Bumble. It begins with a history of online dating and analysis of why apps have become a popular tool to launch a business. The Note then delves into a new dating app concept and accompanying patent application surrounding artificial intelligence-based matchmaking. This Note supports the conclusion that Section 101 of the Patent Act and the two-step framework developed by the Supreme Court are sufficient to bolster Tinder’s claim that their swiping feature is a patentable, digital interface improvement. This Note also argues that artificial intelligence, using a natural phenomenon such as attraction, should be patentable when coupled with an inventive concept.