Discount giant Groupon is available in 37 countries around the globe, yet Australia isn’t one of them. Strange given Australia is amongst the top developed nations, and renowned for being tight ass bargain hunters. On the surface it seems Australia would be a perfect fit for Groupon, however there’s just one problem. Scoopon.
In what’s very clearly a Groupon clone, Scoopon is developed by Gabby and Hezi Leibovitch, the people behind catchoftheday.com.au. In a post on the Groupon blog, they explain that not only did Scoopon copy the idea, design and derivative name, they active went and registered the domain name – Groupon.com.au, but registered the company name Groupon PTY LTD, and even tried to register the Groupon trademark.
Clearly our business registration authorities should have put a stop to this and could have checked the name with a simple Google search. As for trademarks, they are country-specific, so technically anyone could register it, just like the domain name. However, when an successful international company’s expansion would naturally see its arrival on our shores, there should be safe guards to prevent this snipping.
Groupon call it a “classic case of domain squatting”, which it is. Do the right thing Scoopon, relinquish the domain name to Groupon and by all means go head to head with them. After the negative PR from this little stunt plays out, I think you’ll struggle, but good luck.
Groupon say, they reluctantly offered $286,000 for the domain and trademark. After initially accepting, Gabby and Hezi Leibovich then had a change of heart and withdrew. Groupon say they (Scoopon) want a full buy out (likely for a larger amount), in which Groupon responded with litigation.
Groupon say it could take more that a year to sort this mess out. So now us little Aussie battlers on struggle street are forced to wait for great deals. Finally, Groupon ask supporters to campaign Scoopon to accept the generous $286,000 offer by joining the ‘Groupon in Australia’ Facebook Group.