Court Recognizes Daily Groupon Deal Hunters Aren't Likely To Be Confused By Groupion's Enterprise Software

from the but-i-want-half-off-my-crm! dept

Groupion provides CRM software as a service (SaaS). Groupon distributes "deal of the day" offers that are typically unprofitable for advertisers and often have the extra "benefit" of causing the advertisers to get trashed on Yelp. Groupion sued Groupon for trademark infringement. I previously blogged on the complaint.

The court denies Groupion's various motions. The court runs through a typical multi-factor likelihood of consumer confusion analysis:

  • mark similarity. Calling this factor "critical," the court concludes that consumers can keep the marks separate. The visual depictions of the logos are different, Groupion has one more syllable, and the words are portmaneaus from different inspirations ("coupon" + "group" vs. "groupware" + "companion").
  • product similarity. "The parties' products are used for different functions and purposes, and are purchased by different classes of consumers."
  • marketing channels. The Internet's commonality is discounted (cite to Network Automation), and the rest of the parties' channels are disparate as you would expect when one company is B2B and the other B2C.
  • mark strength. The court says "Groupion" is weak because others are using similar marks in its field and Groupion didn't show evidence of the mark's commercial strength.
  • intent. Groupion asserted that Groupon must have selected the mark knowing about it, but Groupion didn't provide any evidence to that effect. Groupon's failure to stop after Groupion's C&D was irrelevant.
  • evidence of actual confusion. None of Groupion's evidence "demonstrates instances of actual confusion by its customers regarding the source of its products."
  • likelihood of expansion. Groupon bought a mobile apps business, but the court says it will use that to distribute deals, not for intracompany groupware.
  • purchaser care. B2B software buyers are careful, as are advertisers.
Thus, the factors point against Groupion's likelihood of success, so the court denies the preliminary injunction, Groupion's motion for summary judgment and motion to cancel Groupion's registered mark. I assume Groupon will view this as an invitation to bring its own summary judgment motion and kill this case. The judge's tone was unmistakable.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 12:43am

    Thus, the factors point against Groupion's likelihood of success, so the court denies the preliminary injunction, Groupion's motion for summary judgment and motion to cancel [Groupon's] registered mark.

    FTFY.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 1:12am

    I'm surprised they haven't sued Google. If you type in "Groupion", it shows results for "Groupon" instead.
    I can't imagine that causing any sort of harm to their business (since anyone actually trying to do a search on them would click "Show results for Groupion instead"), but that didn't stop them in this case...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 4:52am

    Question

    Would a morion in a hurry be confused?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    The present tense play-by-play style of writing makes me feel like I'm reading over shoulder of the judge as he types!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 7:30am

    The present tense play-by-play style of writing makes me feel like I'm reading over shoulder of the judge as he types!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    I was expecting a stop after every sentence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    Hmmm, no confusion?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 11:30am

    I can see some times when proof reading must be hell.

    This is one of them. ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    DRG (profile), Dec 7th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Question

    OK, I must admit I had to read the article several times to get it straight....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2011 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re:

    No confusion because I'm still able to deduce which name is correct by context.

    If there is confusion, I would not be able to detect this mistake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    3 Reads to get it down . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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