Vancouver-based Infringatek says shady characters on the Internet are selling counterfeit goods in what the company calls a cyberspace black market.
"We suspected that counterfeit goods were on the Internet several months ago," Robert Badzik, lead researcher with Infringatek, said in a news release announcing the company's conclusions. "But we did not expect this magnitude. They are selling everything from lingerie to computers under false brand names."
Infringatek tracks the Internet use of trademarks, copyrights and licensed products, as well as intellectual property appearing on message boards.
"Counterfeit-goods merchants are choosing to advertise their merchandise through posts not readily indexed by commercial search engines like AltaVista or Yahoo. This makes it much more difficult to track and identify these persons and activities," Badzik said.