Google to Loosen Trademark Restrictions for AdWords Advertisers


Google has announced that as of the 4th June they will no longer investigate the use of trademarks as keywords by AdWords Advertisers in a number of regions including the UK (view full list). Google will continue to monitor and restrict trademark use in ad text.

In addition starting on June 15, Google will be adjusting their US trademark policy to allow some advertisers to include trademarks in the ad text as long as they are either a reseller of the product or providing information on it (read full Google update).

Google have justified the change as follows:

“Google's goal is to provide our users with the most relevant information, whether from search results or advertisements, and we believe users benefit from having more choice. Our policy aims to balance the interests of users, advertisers, and trademark owners while leveling the playing field for all advertisers.”

Certainly trademark advertising has been an ongoing issue for Google with several US companies taking legal action after Google allegedly let advertisers bid on their trademarks.

However, it would now seem that Google feels confident enough in its legal position to discontinue investigating trademark AdWords keyword bidding complaints in the UK plus over 190 other countries.

What UK AdWords advertisers can probably surmise is that if they want to target trademarks as keywords for their campaigns Google won’t stop them, but if they use trademarks in their Ad text Google will be monitoring and could investigate and take further action.

With this in mind there is certainly going to be much more onus on companies to police their trademarks. Meaning many will have to start bidding on them in order to ensure they out position other advertisers.

If you are thinking of bidding on a competitors trademark terms then you should still be prepared to deal with a legal complaint from the company itself and EU trademark laws are fairly tough.

Whether Google will also change its UK trademark policy regarding ad text copy like it has in the US is unknown, but certainly protecting a trademark online just got a lot harder.

For more advice on creating tailored AdWords campaigns including protecting your trademarks contact Cornish WebServices.

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