Troll Sues Groupon, Yelp Over Mobile Commerce Patent

Yelp and Groupon are both being sued by a company called Mobile Commerce Framework, an obscure patent troll that earlier filed a similar patent infringement suit against Foursquare.

On April 6, 2010, Mobile Commerce Framework (MCF) was issued US Patent No. 7,693,752 by the USPTO, for reasons unknown to mankind. In summary, this patent describes:

a subscription-based system for providing commerce information for one or more mobile devices for one or more merchants. Some techniques employed feature a subscription-based method for presenting commercial resources to a mobile device.

The method involves receiving mobile device user information relating to a geographic location to locate one or more merchants within a subscription-based shopping network, and receiving mobile device user information relating to a merchant type within the subscription-based shopping network.

According to MCF, Yelp and Groupon – and Foursquare – infringe its patent by creating and distributing mobile apps that can be used by people to obtain information and offers from merchants by searching, based on their physical location and merchant type. Sigh.

Mobile Commerce Framework is represented by Jonathan Hangartner, owner of X-Patents.

Related: Groupon Sues Fellow Group Buying Site MobGob Over 9-Year-Old Patent