If you’ve been around the web a lot, you may have come across the annoying blog or forum comments that say “I check http://grouponbot.com more often then I check Groupon now”. Sometimes the links are buried in what a is an attempt to make the post look legitimate but it’s a poor attempt at best if you’re already familiar with these “spammy” tactics.
With Groupon going after sites like Scoopon for trademark infringement and making complaints that sites like these are hurting business and their good name, how is it that this one, far more obvious than some, seems to be slipping under their radar?
According to Groupon’s infringement complaint against Scoopon:
“Actual confusion to as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, connection or identification has occurred between Groupon’s use of its registered mark and defendants’ unauthorized use of the Scoopon mark, and the websites located at groupon.com.au and Scoopon.com.au on a number of occasions, consumers contacted Groupon instead of defendants.”
So isn’t Grouponbot causing confusion as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, connection or identification by blatantly using “Groupon” as the major part of its name? They even say that they are powered by Groupon, so wouldn’t this lead many to believe that Grouponbot was actually a sort of aggregator site owned by Groupon?
This site actually looks like it might be set up purely to earn income from Groupon’s affiliate program through pay-per-clicks and/or completed transactions. If you check out Groupon’s API Branding Requirements surrounding the use of the graphics, it doesn’t even look like they’re in compliance, though that’s really the least of the problems with this site.
While Grouponbot is not the only site taking advantage of the industry and using underhanded methods to make a few bucks, they are currently one of the worst. Spam, in all its forms (and those yet unthought of) is most likely here to stay but we can at least take steps to prevent some of it.
By the way… yes, I know that any press is good press but maybe enough bad press will eventually make this particular problem go away.