Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Misuse and Counterfeiting of Trademarks on the Internet


he age of e-commerce has not only simplified online sales and marketing but has also made it easier to access information related to registered trademarks owned by others. The internet, which offers a unique advantage in terms of brand recognition and marketing, can turn into a disadvantage when it comes to trademark counterfeiting and malicious use.

Use of Another Person’s Registered Trademark on Any Product or Packaging

The use, sale, import, export, or advertising of another person’s registered trademark on any product or packaging can be considered major actions that constitute trademark infringement or violation. In the context of online activities, trademark infringements often occur through sales and promotional activities. However, one of the most prominent violations encountered online is the use of another person’s registered trademark as a domain name.

According to the Industrial Property Law, the use of another person’s registered trademark in a way that would create commercial impact, such as using it as a domain name, redirecting code, keywords, or similar forms, is considered a violation of trademark rights. Here, there is a conflict between the “first-come, first-served” rule for domain names and trademark rights. However, it should be noted that even if a domain name is acquired by the first party, if it is used in a way that creates confusion with a registered trademark and results in unfair competition, its use may be stopped. In cases where an unfair use of a domain name involving a registered trademark occurs, the owner of the trademark can also exercise their rights provided by the Industrial Property Law.

Trademark Violations on E-commerce Websites

Another common form of trademark infringement encountered on the internet occurs on marketplace or online marketplace platforms. Especially in business-to-consumer (B2C) online marketplace applications that allow various businesses to sell their products, counterfeit products imitating another person’s registered trademark can be found.

In another scenario, small businesses looking to avoid advertising and marketing costs sometimes attempt to sell their products by using the products and visuals of well-known brands in their sales area. In this case, online marketplace owners cannot feasibly monitor or track every product listed for sale. However, it is crucial for online marketplace owners to take notice of warnings related to trademark infringement from the owners of registered trademarks and not allow any possibility of trademark infringement. In fact, the General Assembly of the Court of Cassation (Yargıtay Hukuk Genel Kurulu) ruled in its decision numbered 2013/11-1138 E. that a well-known online marketplace application that continued to publish and sell a product, which was requested to be removed from the website due to trademark infringement, and allowed the sale to proceed was considered an accomplice in trademark infringement. The decision stated that the online marketplace application was jointly liable for the damages arising from trademark infringement along with the seller. With this decision, the General Assembly of the Court of Cassation emphasized the importance of online marketplace applications taking all warnings related to trademark infringement into account.

In the event of trademark infringement online, whether in one of the mentioned forms or otherwise, it is crucial to take swift action to ensure the official determination of the infringement by relevant authorities. Additionally, even if the content has been removed from the internet during official proceedings, expert examinations can be conducted to detect past actions. Subsequently, under the Industrial Property Law, it is possible to claim compensation for damages arising from trademark infringement and request the cessation of actions constituting infringement.

This site is registered on as a development site.