eBay has filed a trademark registration application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the name/phrase SPEEDPAK to be used in commerce. A trademark filing does not mean the company has received the trademark, but it’s the first step in the process to protect the name or phase legally.
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The USTPO filing by eBay states the SPEEDPAK “trademark registration is intended to cover the categories of business solution services, namely, providing assistance to businesses with shipping services, freight services, delivery services, warehousing services and logistics.”
What makes this trademark application curious is that eBay has a partnership with Chinese logistics company Orange Connex Limited (OCL) already offering a service under the SpeedPAK name (SpeedPAK is the styling used in China). SpeedPAK offers Chinese companies direct mail services to North American and European buyers.
Packages shipped by Chinese sellers using SpeedPAK are typically delivered through the local postal service in the destination country, such as USPS for the US and Royal Mail for the UK.
While eBay does not directly compete with its sellers, the company has made investments in China to enable more Chinese-based manufacturers and sellers to directly access North American and European buyers easily and SpeedPAK is one of these services.
This has angered some users as eBay is adding to the problem of cheap Chinese goods being offered on the marketplace that sometimes are copies of North American or European products.
Additionally, with SpeedPAK, the company is helping Chinese sellers with logistics operations to reach valuable consumer markets. Yet, it has provided little help to US, Canadian, and European sellers to offer affordable shipping or other logistics solutions that would support sellers to better compete, especially against Amazon and Amazon marketplace sellers.
The one program with hope of finally providing a viable fulfillment solution to US eBay sellers, eBay Managed Delivery, was canceled last year.
Why Would eBay Apply for Speedpak Trademark in the US?
That seems to be the million-dollar question, but the name appears to be an unlikely candidate for resurrecting the previously canceled fulfillment solution.
In the trademark application, eBay said it was not currently using the name. Technically, this is probably correct as SpeedPAK is a Chinese-based logistics service used exclusively in China and in a partnership with OCL. There are other Speedpak trademark registrations, but they are for other types of services and none of them are connected to eBay or OCL.
eBay did file an “Intent To Use” with its application, although that seems to be a formality for most trademarks. Why else try to register one?
So, what could eBay be up to with this trademark application?
- The company could be interested in acquiring OCL and wants to shore up the rights of the Speedpak name as it prepares for such a transaction.
- eBay could be interested in acquiring just the SpeedPAK operation from OCL, again ensuring it owns the rights to the name.
- It could be looking to expand the logistics service beyond China, potentially offering or branding existing or new international shipping/logistics services in other parts of the world under the Speedpak name.
These are just some ideas on what eBay might be up to with the trademark application. In light of the company seeking to sell the eBay Classifieds Group to focus on its core marketplace, it raises some intriguing prospects on how eBay may expand features and services of the core marketplace.
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