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eBay Sued over Classifieds Mobile App

After divesting its shares of Craigslist last year, eBay decided to ramp up its classifieds mobile app called Close5. But its name is too similar to another mobile app, according to a lawsuit filed last month.

The mobile app 5miles was started in 2014 by a former Alibaba executive and is funded by companies and individuals who have worked with or invested in Alibaba and eBay, according to this Dallas News blog post, which may have been the first to report the two companies were in discussions about the similarity of their names.

A spokesperson for 5miles said it filed an intent-to-use trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May 2014, the same month it registered the domain name, 5milesapp.com. “eBay did not file an intent-to-use trademark application for Close5 until September 2014, months later. That office granted 5miles’ parent company the trademark registration (last month), clearing the way for the federal suit against eBay and two of its affiliates,” she told EcommerceBytes.

The 5miles app uses the slogan, “all within 5 miles,” while eBay’s Close5 uses the tagline, “Everything within 5 miles.” And 5miles said its logo features a stylized number 5 in white on an orange background, while Close5 uses the number 5 in red.

The lawsuit seeks a court order that prohibits eBay from using “any mark that is the same as or confusingly similar to the 5miles” name, logo and slogan.

eBay launched Close5 after acquiring a startup called Rumgr.

In September, eBay said Close5 was gaining strong adoption, with 2.9 million downloads, and in January, eBay CEO Devin Wenig said that figure was approaching 6 million.

This month 5Miles touted over 5 million registered users and said the app had facilitated $1 billion in local transactions in its first year.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.