John Gartner has a good piece in Revenue magazine about trademark poaching, correctly identifying it as an up and coming challenge for affiliate marketers.
Trademark poaching is attractive because of the low barrier to entry. For just the price of a PPC ad, publishers can quickly generate handsome commissions without the usual affiliate administration overhead, and reducing the steps from click to purchase increases the likelihood of a purchase.
He also goes on to identify that it is a problem faced most often by new merchants that are unaware of the practice:
One PPC affiliate, who asked not to be named, says there is a "pack of about 30" PPC affiliates that closely monitor the list of new merchants at every network and "crank up campaigns on them all" in order to profit from this behavior.
We're pretty excited to be putting together a service that helps identify and monitor this type of abuse and thrilled that the practice is seeing increasing popularity.