Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider
*Correction: GroupMe isn’t being sued by Groupie. Its trademark is being opposed. GroupMe’s trademark is being opposed by another group messaging app, Groupie.
Groupie preceded GroupMe. It was founded in 2008 as a part of NYU’s Business Plan Competition by Jordan Adler and Leo Efstathiou. Groupie has 60,000 users, 25,000 groups, and 1 million messages sent per month.
In May 2009, Adler and Efstathiou were granted the trademark, “GROUPIE.” GroupMe filed for its trademark on July 26, 2010, but its application was opposed three months ago.
Groupie says it’s opposing its competitor over “likelihood of confusion.”
“Our names are a letter apart and are audibly indistinguishable,” says Efstathiou. “We’re in the same industry, have the same key features, target the same markets and distribute on the same platform.”
It says the likelihood of confusion is “simply too great to ignore.”
We’re not sure if it’s the likelihood of confusion or GroupMe’s growth numbers that are too great to ignore. There’s Ping and Ning, Mashable and Hashable…a lot of brands are separated by one letter. It sounds like Groupie is riding on GroupMe’s coattail as it expands internationally to 90+ countries. After all, Groupie is much smaller than its competitor, which sends more than 100 million messages per month.
Oppositions happen all the time, so if we were GroupMe we wouldn’t be too worried. GroupMe wasn’t able to give us a comment; it’s awaiting word from its lawyer.
This isn’t the only issue GroupMe is battling at the moment. It’s also being sued for spamming users with unwanted texts.