by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 10th 2011 5:03am
While we've talked a lot about abusive trademark lawsuits that are more about attacking competitors or hindering speech, the core concept (which has since been significantly stretched) still does make some sense: it works as a form of consumer protection, to stop consumers from being fooled into believing, say, that Bob's Cola, is really Coca Cola -- a well known brand that they trust. When I saw a headline that Groupon had filed a lawsuit against a clone, I was worried that it would be an attack on a competitor (of which there are many). However, it appears that Groupon is still leaving most of the many, many clones out there alone. It's filed this particular lawsuit against Scoopon because the company tried to swipe the Groupon name in Australia. Not only did it register Groupon.com.au, it also registered its company name as Groupon Pty Limited and applied for the trademark on Groupon in Australia. That seems like a clear case of a company trying to confuse the public into believing it's the original Groupon, and a perfectly reasonable situation for using trademark law.
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