February 1, 2011
The Mobile Marketer article, "Does Groupon Lawsuit Threaten All Mobile Coupon Apps," reviews the California class action case, which claims it is illegal for Groupon to sell gift certificates with expiration dates. The complaint alleges Groupon is violating state and federal laws.
"'Over the past years, various states have enacted laws that regulate expiration dates on gift certificates and cards,' said Gonzalo Mon, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Washington. 'Currently about half of the states either restrict or prohibit expiration dates.
'Some of these states specify an amount of time that gift certificates must be valid, while others prohibit expiration dates altogether,' he said. 'In addition to these state laws, a recent federal law requires gift certificates to be valid for at least five years.'"
The article quoted Mr. Mon stating the case will largely depend on whether Groupon's deals are held to be gift certificates or outside of those applicable laws. He also discussed expiration dates and federal laws with deals available on mobile phones and how this lawsuit could affect similar mobile apps.