Brown explains that copyright laws are designed to protect creative expression, rather than methods of doing something, like crafting a successful dating app."When you look at the similarities between how Hinge looks and Facebook looks, those similarities—as I see it—are purely factual or methodological," he says.Facebook hasn't yet begun to test Dating, but the demo version touted on stage by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief product officer Chris Cox looks nearly identical to Hinge.
On stage, Zuckerberg stressed that Dating focuses on finding meaningful relationships rather than hookups. In 2016, the app added a paid service; for $7 a month, users can interact with an unlimited number of potential matches and gain access to other exclusive features.
The assumption is that people willing to pay to find a relationship are looking for something more substantial than casual dating.
The reality is tech companies have ripped off each other's interfaces for years, even if Facebook has a few recent, brazen examples.
And legally, they're entitled to."I don't think any claim that Hinge could plausibly raise would stand much of a chance of being successful," says Evan Brown, a partner at the firm Much Shelist who specializes in technology and intellectual property law.
And in the biggest similarity, singles on both services can start conversations not by merely saying hello but by commenting on a specific profile item.