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Bumble does not have a patent on their signature differentiation, which is that only women on the app can initiate a conversation.

It's not patented, Tinder later implemented it as an optional feature women on the app to configure if they so choose.

So I am wondering why this feature may not be patentable?

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  • I’d speculate that it is obvious and not inventive. How sure are you that Bumble didn’t try and fail to get a patent?
    – Eric S
    Commented Jul 4 at 16:56

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Under the US laws it would not be patentable as it is not eligible. Eligibility is called 101 which requires claims to be technical in nature. What you describe here is not technical despite being implemented on a computer.

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MPEP 2106 sheds some light on the types of ideas that are considered abstract by the USPTO. This includes:

  • C. Managing Personal Behavior or Relationships or Interactions Between People

  • The sub-grouping “managing personal behavior or relationships or interactions between people” include social activities, teaching, and following rules or instructions.

It would be hard to argue that having only women initiate conversations is not an abstract idea of this kind. Even if there is a computer-implemented mechanism to enforce it at the platform level, the mechanism is sufficiently trivial that a person of ordinary skill can readily derive it once given the abstract idea.

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