The infidelity app Ashley Madison has threatened to sue a rival sex app after accusing it of copying its trademarks.
Ruby Life, the firm which owns Ashley Madison, has ordered a hook-up app called CasualX to immediately change its branding and slogan or face legal action.
The cheating website is concerned that CasualX, which markets itself as ‘the Tinder for casual sex’, advertises its services with the words ‘Life is boring. Desire a fling?’
Ashley Madison feels this is too similar to its own slogan: ‘Life is short. Have an affair.’
It also called on CasualX to stop using a picture showing a masked woman pressing a finger to her lips, which is allegedly similar to an image used by Ruby Life.
Ashley Madison is dedicated to helping married people have affairs, while CasualX is just interested in helping anyone enjoy a spot of no-strings-attached sex.
Metro.co.uk has obtained a letter sent by a lawyer for the infidelity service
Describing the images, it said: ‘The main/memorable elements that will be remembered by any consumer would be flowing hair, a finger raised to the lips and the mask.’
It then went on to discuss the slogans used by both firms.
‘The only two differences in the slogans are the presence of the words ‘boring’ versus ‘short’ and ‘desire’ versus ‘have’. In fact, even I, being a trademark lawyer, made a mistake of replacing ‘fling’ with ‘affair’.’
CasualX’s Jeffery Zhang said the demands were ‘unreasonable’ and said: ‘Our image and their trademark are quite different .
‘Their trademark doesn’t have a mask, while our image has a mask. Also, the woman on their trademark picture wears a wedding ring, which indicates that their service is for married people. The woman on our trademark doesn’t wear a wedding ring.
‘People can easily distinguish ‘Life is short, have an affair’ from ‘Life is boring, have a fling’.
He said the small firm could not match the legal firepower of Ashley Madison and said that rebranding would hamper their efforts to win new customers.
Whilst the slogan ‘took inspiration’ from the infidelity website’s own words, Zhang told us he didn’t think it infringed copyright.
‘We need to spend a lot of efforts and time to reshape the branding awareness because the image has been featured on some big media sites and has been seen by many people,’ he added.
‘Also, our app was once featured by Apple in their trending list. If we change the image, we will have to create a new branding image for our potential customers.’
A spokesman for Ashley Madison said: ‘As the premier married dating site, AshleyMadison.com is known around the world, with trade and copy marks holding significant value.
‘The company you mention is using our trademarks and we have kindly asked that they refrain from doing so.’
In 2015, Ashley Madison was hit by a hack which exposed the secrets of up to 35 million love rats.