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Trademark and Domain Name Basics

What is a trademark?
A trademark is a name or logo used by a company to identify its goods or services. For example, eBay® is the name of our company, but it is also a trademark used on our site and on various eBay products. Coca Cola® is a trademark used in the sale of soft drinks. Many trademarks are registered, but a trademark need not be registered for an owner to protect it. Trademark laws are primarily designed to protect consumers from confusing one company's goods or services with those of another.

What is trademark infringement?
Trademark infringement usually involves using someone's trademark on a good or service in a way that may confuse others about the source or affiliation of the goods or services. For example, if a seller unauthorised by or unaffiliated with Nike® sells sports clothes called "Nikestuff," the seller is probably infringing Nike’s trademark. There are other ways to infringe a trademark, including registering domain names that are substantially similar to the name of a trademark owner.

Domain names and trademark infringement
A domain name is an address that is used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet (for example, and Many companies register domain names that contain their trademarks. For example, eBay owns, as well as country-specific domain names such as The Coca Cola Company owns and

If a person operates a Web site using a domain name that contains someone else's trademark (for example, ""), people who see or visit that domain name are likely to be confused and believe that the site is affiliated with Nike when it is not. People may also mistakenly go to this Web site thinking it's connected with the other company, only to find out that it is not. Intentional misspellings of and similarities to trademarked names (for example,, may also be considered trademark infringements. Just because a company hasn't registered all variations of its name or trademark as domain names doesn't mean that others can use those domain names. If the domain names are likely to confuse consumers, they're probably infringing.

‘Cybersquatting’ and trademark infringement

The Philippines does not have a specific law on domain names

The use of a domain containing another's trademark also may violate trademark law. Offering to sell a domain name may be used to establish "bad faith" and could expose you to serious liability.

Important: This information is not intended to be legal advice. If a member has any doubts about whether an item or domain name can be sold on eBay, eBay encourages the member to contact the trademark owner or consult a lawyer

Reporting questionable items to eBay

  • Item Description and Picture Theft: Community members can report listings that use their copyrighted text or images without permission.

  • Protecting Intellectual Property: Intellectual property owners can report items that allegedly infringe on their rights.

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