Image: 3nder

You might remember 3nder, the oddly-named dating app for finding your very own three-person sexy time party. Well it seems that Tinder, a dating app with a similar name, is threatening to sue the company behind the app.

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According to 3nder—which can be pronounced, alternately, “three-ender” or “Thrinder,” though the company says “we embrace all the various pronunciations!”—Tinder is threatening to bring legal action because of the similarities between the two names.

We’ve been shown what appear to be legitimate documents sent to 3nder by lawyers for Tinder. Chief amongst the complaints are accusations of trademark infringement. Tinder also complains that users might mistakenly think 3nder is associated with Tinder because of the similarities in names. (The first communication between the two was in December 2015. The fight has apparently been going on for some time now.)

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A spokesperson for 3nder told us in an email that official legal proceedings are “still in preparation,” and there’s “nothing in court yet.” But, the spokesperson added, the app is “not caving to [Tinder’s] demands.”

3nder is adamant that the differences between the two apps are significant enough that users couldn’t possibly confuse the two. Amongst its defenses: “Tinder is ugly, 3nder is not”; “3nder is inclusive of the entire official sexual spectrum: 23 sexual identities recognized today”; “3nder is available to every human with an open-mind”; and, finally, “3nder is awesome, Tinder is not.”

Tinder recently started testing out a new feature for groups called Tinder Social, which could very easily function as a group sex finder so the two apps may not be quite as dissimilar soon—whether there is any connection here to Tinder’s legal threats is unclear.

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In response to the supposed threat, 3nder has gone into balls-to-the-wall attack mode. The company launched a bizarre campaign called #TinderSuckMySocks, wherein 3nder sympathizers are supposed to send Tinder dirty pairs of socks. Yeah, I have no idea, either.

3nder founder Dimo Trifonov described his reasoning in a Medium post:

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I usually work 12 hours a day. Now that this fight is happening, I have to work whenever I am not asleep (around 16 hrs daily maybe?). Naturally, I will forgot to do my laundry so all my socks (and my girlfriend’s) are dirty. I sent them to Tinder (say Yuck). If you have any compassion for me and my superteam at 3nder who is involved in this nonsense fight, please do the same thing I did few hours ago.

Though it seems like this dustup is a mighty big problem for 3nder, it’s also fantastic marketing—the company’s Android app is launching soon, after all. We’ve reached out to Tinder for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.

[VentureBeat]