Trademark hijacking on the internet

Other Names:
E-commerce using counterfeit trademarks
Abusive internet registrations

Trademarks can be registered which approximate very closely to well-known brands and thus delude potential customers into purchases that deprive the original owners of revenue.


E-commerce using counterfeit trademarks is growing in countries where trademark protection is weak. It has increased considerably, and become increasingly widespread, with recent advances in communications and satellite television.

In February 2000 the World Wrestling Federation, Stella D'oro Biscuit Company and the Australian telecommunications giant, Telstra, had their claims of abusive web registrations decided by the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The companies filed their claims under the new WIPO procedure to resolve disputes over cases of bad faith and abusive registrations, also known as 'cybersquatting.' The procedure took effect in December 1999 and was being implemented by WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Centre, which by February had received a total of 89 cases involving entities in 30 different countries. Under that system, panels of one to three WIPO-appointed experts applied quick and cost-effective procedures to review claims and eliminate cases of clear abuse of trademark holders' rights, leaving the more complex cases to the courts. At that time, the disputed names included,,, and 

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST