Internet Trademark

Internet Trademarks - Internet Keywords - Brands

Fabien from asked a question about Internet Trademarks in a comment he left on my article about Asian domain names disputes, which was published in August 2008, yet is still commented on every single day, as the practice of scamming people into buying Asian Domain names and Internet Trademarks, or as they are often called, Internet Keywords continues. Fabian wrote “Now, what they are trying to sell me, is the Internet Trademark , for 129€ (which is not excessive) … but I am not sure what this is for .. anybody could point me to information on Internet Trademark? Not sure if I can trust those guys“.

An Internet trademark, is not a trademark at all - certainly not under US or UK law. It is the right, in China, to have your branding come up automatically in an address bar if someone types in your “Internet trademark”. These Asian scammers also refer to them as Internet keywords and internet brands.

For example, if you bought the Internet trademark “alinash” and someone typed alinash into the Explorer address bar in China, (not the search box), your site should automatically pop up, even without the http:// or www.

The trouble with this is, you are probably not aiming at a Chinese speaking marketplace and most importantly, if you type in Alinash into any Explorer browser in the World, wherever you are (possibly with the exception of China - never been there, never tried it), your site will automatically pop up anyway, as Explorer has already decided that you are the most established website that the keyterm, alinash would fit!

Internet trademark scam

Don’t be fooled into wasting 129 Euros, or whatever these Asian Scammers think you can afford, (as it changes from email to email) on an Internet trademark - they are selling you something Explorer already gives most established sites for free!

25 Responses to “Internet Trademark”

Fabien Says:

Thanks so much for this information, this is really helpful.


In NYC Says:

Thank you for the explanation. We received a similar scam email and we were concerned.

ali hong kong Says:

I believe its when using Internet Explorer only, in China. Firefox by default does a Google search and returns the first result,
but yes, it is a scam, and god knows how IE have allowed the Chinese govt to influence their browser - or why china allow this invitation to confusion and scamming. Thanks for your comment and for the heads-up on my misprint, which I have fixed. BM

Debbie Says:

Thank you very much for providing this information. I have been contacted about 2 domain names so far from different companies in China (with what look like valid web sites) with email subjects like “Emergency Notice Network Trademark Registration”.
The first time was about a client’s domain name & it was regarding China-specific extensions, which we saw no benefit in registering.
The second time was about my own domain name & included the internet keyword registration, which prompted me to do more research. My gut feeling was that it was a scam & I’m glad for the confirmation.
Thank you!

Karen Says:

Finally, an answer that helps me!! I’ve been getting these emails and its been freaking me out. My gut said scam, but my head said check it out. You have answered this perfectly and I totally understand the concept and why there’s really no use for me to buy my brand keyword in the Chinese market. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Karen Says:

Ok… so I received one of these emails too. I read your blog and felt reassured that this was a scam. When I called this “Michael” on it, I have been bombarded with more emails from him. I am starting to get freaked out, I really don’t want anyone purchasing my name (as I may very well expand worlwide in the future). I already own the .com address so I think this should be enough. Here’s the latest email that I received. I would love your input on what I should do from here (if anything).

Dear Sir,

Government request us to audit and record the application during the process of registration.Now,You just tell me whether you would like to register the brand keyword not.If you don’t think their application will affect your company, you can give up internet trademark, we will finish their registration. If they register those domain names for imitating you web, invading some market of you, linking to some illegal webs, selling to your competitors or even something worse, you should take the consequences! we never involve in this matter again. But If you attach great importance to protect your brand, As a professional domain name registration organization,I suggest you register it by yourself before Sabre Holdings Ltd. This is the only way to prevent trademark grab. Please consider this matter more carefully. If you have no other questions, we will send an application form to you and help you register it within dispute period,Pls confirm.
Best Regards,

You don’t mention their company Karen, or the name of your company, but they are scamming you to get you to part with your money for domain names that are useless to you. Check back over all the comments, pick out some of the company names and then do asian domain name searches and see if any of them were actually registered by the companies that were supposed to be on the verge of buying them - I can’t find any. If you are worried about your brand, and again,I don’t know what you sell or what the name of your site is, buy the domain names that you someone may actually want if they were trying to steal your branding, like .org, ,net and The asian domain names are worthless unless you are aiming at the asian market and even then, an established .com site will always come before a new for example. Bin the emails and don’t worry about it. BM

lorraine barker Says:

I have also received these emails & was worried

premier-framework Domain name & Internet keyword Dear CEO and Manager, We are a domain name registration center in Hong Kong, mainly dealing with domain name registration and internet intellectual property rights protection. On Nov 5, 2009 we received a formal application from a company who is applying to register several domains, using “premier-framework”as the keyword. After investigation,we find that you are the original user of the keyword. Such similar domain cases may involve your trademark and company name,and may cause website confusion and conflicts. For a responsible attitude, we inform you here and ask for your opinion. If you don’t mind,we will finish registration for the third company. Look forward to your reply. Kind Regards, Annie Li Tel: +852-317 579 31(ext8001) Fax: +852- 317 579 32

Any ideas if this is a hoax?? Lorraine, have you read the post? If not, it explains it above.

Louise Says:

We have received 2 email below from 2 different companies wanting to use our registered company name with the suffix .cn / / .asia/ domain names.

We knew you have registered the domain name “” and own the intellectual property / own the trademark “accommodationauctions”, this is why we informed you. But now the company wanted to apply for other domain names and internet trademark name you have not registered yet. the company wants to apply the following domain names and internet trademark name:

You must know Domain name takes open registration, this is international domain name registration principle. So the company has right to register them. As a domain name registrar, we have no right to dispute their application. So required by China government to inform your company to protect your interest. But as the company whose trademarks relate to the applied domains, you will get the priority to register these domain names.

If you have business in China & Asia or you want to develop business in China & Asia in the near future, so I think these domain names are very important for you! Of course, each company has their own idea. If you don’t think their application will affect your company, you can give up, we will finish their registration. But if you think these domain names are useful for your company, we can send an application form to you and help you register these within dispute period. This is the only way to prevent domain name grab. Pls let us know your decision soon, so that we can handle the next step.
And email No 2 from another company
We are a internet service (software development, website design and development, wifi network works to promote the protection of brands, search engine optimization, etc.) company in China,

Several days ago we received a formal application submited by Robert Jiang who wanted to use the keyword “accommodationauctions” to register the Internet Brand and with

suffix .cn / / .asia/ domain names.

After our initial checking through Internet , we found that the keyword “accommodationauctions” to be applied for registration is same as your keyword.Accordingly,before we finish his registration,we would like to get your final decision about this,whether you mind his registration,if you believe his registration would affect your bussiness and produce conflict,then we could give your priority to register them,as the keyword is first used by your company.However,if you do not think so,please advise of that and then we will finish his registration.

Does this sound like a scam??

I should cocoa! go to your google address bar (not the search box) and type in: accommodationauctions. You don’t need the http://or the www, the the words in the domain name. Google take you straight to your site. That’s the internet trademark they are trying to sell you and as for someone trying to sign up your domain names - check in a month and see if they have been bought - they won’t be - and even if they are, it will have absolutely no effect on your business, unless you are marketing to people in Hong Kong in the Chinese language, ofcourse. Have a mighty fine day! BM

piano books Says:

piano books…

[…] Good piano performance. Thanks heaps for this!… if anyone else has anything it would be much appreciated. Great website Enjoy!… Thanks for this well thought out piece of spam, follow the link - twat! BM

Dona Behn Says:

Keep working ,great job!

Jared M Spambastard Says:

Great article! I am always looking for new techniques and methods to increase search engine position and to gain quality backlinks. I myself have a blog dedicated to sharing these techniques with other webmasters. Please let me know if you would like to exchange backlinks. I look forward to reading more from you, thanks! Here’s a wee tip to all spambastards like “Jared M” out there - don’t send the same spam email to 8 different articles on the same blog at the same time - it’s something of a giveaway! BM

Georgene Berkson Says:

I must be really old! From when I first got into this stuff compared to now, putting together a decent setup together has gotten crazy simple. Man, I am blown away at what’s possible nowadays! Yes, you’re not just old, but very stupid - if you think spam like this will get you a link from my blog. :) BM

Feline Future Says:

Thank you for the info. I almost went for it, especially when the Registrar “NZ” ( phoned me from China to give me right of first refusal to register my name as .cc/ .cn/.tw/.hk/ extentions. I didn’t want the expense, but was offended by the idea that someone would just go ahead and register my name as domain name - regardless of nationality. After just coming out of a real trade-mark dispute over my product name I was very much “mother hen” to protect my intellectual property. Thank you for saving me my money and further aggrevation!

Shosh Says:

Thank you so much for this blog! I have just received exactly the same email from a company in China. And I got quite scared by it. So thanks again! I am going to bin his emails (or I might just tell him I’m going to refer his emails to my Intellectual Property lawyer and see if that stops him!). Shosh, I wouldn’t waste your time writing back to them, all you will be doing is confirming your email address is live and it will be sold on to other spammers. BM

Mark Says:

Thank you so much.
I’ve had several sleepless nights and almost spent money on IP legal advice since received a similar e-mail from some guy at last week. I’d never even heard of “Brand Name” registration and thought it might be a Chinese equivalent to a Trademark application. His response to my e-mail question asking what internet Brand Names are:
“Brand name is an internet brand and works as the protection to Trade Mark on internet. Brand name could optimize your website.When you put the brand name in IE, it would be directly linked to your website. USD190 is for one year. The least time is five years. Please respond shortly. thanks.”
What a scam! Plus USD620 PA for all the domain names!
Having read your response to Shosh, I wish I hadn’t even replied to his email.
Thanks for saving me money. Now I’m off to catch up on some sleep :-)

Stuart Says:

I’ve been asked by these people claiming to be in Hong Kong for 178 Eur/yr for an “Internet brand” and also grossly inflated prices is domain names similar to my own which they say someone else is trying to register (I have, they say others want,, etc) and quoted me 33-36 Euro/yr for these (I can get them here legitimately for £4.25-£17 /yr)
The person is lucy.young [lucy.young@]

DJ Says:

I also received an email regarding a company who wanted to purchase a bunch of domain names (.asia,, .in, .sg, .fr, .cn, and an internet product keyword, which was my company’s name. After reading your blog and the comments, I won’t bother worrying about this. However, my letter doesn’t ask for money and it makes me wonder if it is more on the up and up than other scams? Or maybe it’s just that they’ve gotten better at hiding their intent? Here is the bottom part of the letter I received:

If you have no relationship with Bwinife company, according to our working experience, there are 2 possibilities.
1.Bwinife company is a domain name investment company, whose business is to invest a lot of companies’ domain names, they want to register these names before you and sell back to you in the future to gain profits;
2.It may be a commercial method, Bwinife company is consigned by your competitor to register these domain names, they are trying to replicate your idea and let your customers feel confusion.

Because domain name takes open registration, this is international domain name registration principle. So Bwinife company has right to register it. As a domain name registrar, we have no right to dispute their application. So required by government to inform your company to protect your interest.

As the owner of the name “”, you will get the priority to register these domain names and internet product keyword. Of course, each company has their own idea. If you don’t think their application will affect your company, you can give up, we will finish their registration. But if you think their registration will confuse your clients and harm your profits, you can submit a dispute application to us, and then we will send you a dispute registration application form through our Technical Dept. and help you register these within dispute period. This is the only way to prevent domain name grab.

Hope get your decision ASAP, so that we can handle the next step.

Best Regards,

Like I said, I won’t act on it, but I just thought I’d share it since it seemed a little different/more laid back than ones mentioned above. DJ, if you check out the emails above, you’ll notice that they don’t ask for money either - depending on the company, that comes in the second or third contact email. BM



Deidre Wildrick Says:

Very informational. Thanks.

Mike Says:

It is now nearly two years on from the original date of this post and these scam emails are still circulating. I just got one this morning. You’d think that if they were going to try and keep a scam goin this long they might change it up a bit, but its still virtually the same spiel. Although, the name of the registrar does change alot.

I actually laughed when i first read the email becuase I don’t think they realised they had emailed the webmaster directly. Internal IT Department ftw!

Oli Says:

Just wanted to say, these are still being sent out. It’s a ridiculous notion! Like Mike above, fortunately they sent it to the hired geek (that would be me) rather than the MD/CEO to whom I would have had to spend 30 minutes explaining that it was a scam.

Edward Lee Says:

August 2011, and the exact same scam just arrived in one of my clients’ email inboxes. He forwarded the email to me asking if he needed to respond.
Thanks to our host (here) and all posters for posting experiences to help keep others from falling into the trap.

Susie J Says:

They started up with me just this last week - I just send a “SCAM” email back with glee.

Thank you for sharing this information.. Sending a scam email back to a scammer merely lets them know that your email address is live and they will add you to spam lists and sell them to other spammers. Just delete and move on with your day. :) BM

Tia Says:

They are still at it. Someone named John has been contacting us quite a bit about our need to register our internet keyword.

Here’s his last email:

Dear Tina:

Hello! We haven’t received your form, The checking time is over. We will do as principle to reister the domain name
and Internet Keyword for the other company. We will ask the International company to wire the fee.
Two days later, our system will transfer them to their website, and the they will the owner of these domain names and
Internet Keyword and been protected by the lawin the world. In need to remind you, in the future, you cann’t register
the domain names and Internet Keyword again. Hope this registration will not take any effective of your company .

Thank you .

Best Regards

“john” <john.zhang@

Leigh Says:


I don’t often get caught by scams like this, but this one got me…just got a letter from nice “Mr. John” at and then a follow up purportedly from the people who want to use my company name in Asia.

A nice touch, I thought, guaranteed to get you feeling competitive:

Dear Sirs,

Our company has submitted the “spillian ” as CN/Asia domain name and Internet Keyword, we are waiting for Mr. John’s approval. We hope your company will not object our application, because this name is very important for our products in Chinese and Asian market. We don’t want your company to use this name in China and Asia, we believe our company will become the legal owner of this name in China and Asia. Even though Mr. John advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name and permanent registration of this name.

Best regards

Lin JianFa
Lin JianFa

So appreciate getting the skinny before I lost sleep over this, let alone money!

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