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Groupon Slapped with Patent-Infringing Lawsuit

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Groupon Slapped with Patent-Infringing Lawsuit

Groupon is finding out nothing quite brings out the pack of wolves like being regularly written about in the paper, or having a highly scrutinized IPO.

The former media darling is now more of a media dartboard, but handsome journalists aren't the only ones scrutinizing the routinely raking it over the coals.

Techcrunch.com is reporting that a company called Mobile Commerce Framework is suing Groupon -- and Yelp -- for infringing on a patent it filed in 2005 for "a subscription-based system for providing commerce information for one or more mobile devices for one or more merchants."

A Google search for "Mobile Commerce Framework" yields no indication that this company is doing anything with this patent (just a website seemingly designed by PowerPoint in 1991), which has led many to call MCF that lowest form of life on the Internet: a troll. MCF has also filed suit against Foursquare. Hey, you go where the deep pockets are.

Speaking of which, Groupon's stock is currently at $24.90. Although it's been performing admirably well, it's hardly been the mega-crusher many hoped it would be. In fact, it was on a slow slide yesterday.

Meanwhile, Amazon is stepping up its game against Groupon by injecting something not usually associated with Andrew Mason's company: classiness and tact. According to the Twitters, AmazonLocal is now automatically unsubscribing people who aren't opening its deal e-mails. Its self-destruct message is filled with a twinge of laughable self-pity ("If we are wrong and you wish to learn how to get up to 75% off at restaurants, spas, events, and more..."), but still, it's a shrewd gesture. And doubtful that Groupon would follow suit.

But who knows. Groupon could still change its ways. If anything, this is where everything around Groupon starts to get truly interesting.

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