Update to Google Adwords Trademark Policy

August 5, 2010

Love it or hate it, Google’s Trademark Policy has certainly been controversial over the years. I’ve worked with accounts that have dealt with the pain of competitors bidding on their brand terms and wading through the legal obstacles to stop this happening, and on the other side, dealing with accounts that legitimately sell certain brands but are stopped because of trademark policies. Then there was the problem of different rules for different locations and seemingly only being able to deal with Google US to get anything resolved. Now, Google has announced that it will “no longer prevent advertisers from selecting a third party’s trademark as a keyword” but they will (in most of Europe) do limited investigations in response to received complaints. This means that the following types of ads are likely to be permitted:

· Ads using a trademark in a descriptive or generic way

· Ads for competing products or services

· Ads for informational sites about the trademarked product or service

· Ads for resale of the trademarked products or services

· Ads for selling components, replacement or compatible parts relating to the trademarked product.

Ads that Trademark owners can complain about would be those that are designed to confuse users about the origin of advertised goods and services. See the full text of this Policy change here. Expect to see these changes in place as of the 14th September 2010.





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