How Google Handles Trademark Infringement

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You might have heard the news regarding MySQL and its trademark battle with some advertisers. I started thinking about how Google handles these requests. While it won't change the fact that you won't be able to bid on those terms, but if you are currently bidding you should know what's about to happen.

When Google receives a complaint from a trademark owner, the use of the trademark in ad text is investigated. But keywords are not disabled in response to the trademark complaint alone. Furthermore, according to Google, the investigation only affects ads served on or by Google.

If the investigation reveals that the advertiser is using the trademark in ad text, Google notifies the advertisers that they are required to remove the trademark. Google then prevents advertisers from using it in ad text in the future.

According to the company, "Google is dedicated to providing relevant advertising to our users, advertisers, and publishers alike. Accordingly, our trademark policy not to monitor the use of trademarks in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Ireland aims to provide users with choices relevant to their keywords. At the same time, we investigate trademark violations in ad text both as a courtesy to the trademark owner and to ensure that ads are clear to users."

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1 comment

Andromedical 03-23-2009 9:53 AM

We have had a really close approach to Google regarding trademark infringement. As most of you know the sector where our company moves is highly competitive and we having one of the biggest trademarks on the industry has taken us to take matter in hand.

So we filed one of those "complaint forms" and submitted it to Google...since we own the trademarks for the European Union, USA and other countries we were asked to provide a list of ads which we thought were infringing our right, so we did.

We sent a huge list of ads, trademarks etc etc....it took a few months for Google to handle this situation but finally it worked. The blocked the words "andropenis" and "andromedical" at a keyword and text ad level and for USA, Ireland, UK and Australia they blocked the ads only as it is their policy to let the announcers use keywords for broad relevance.

We urge trademark owners to take a closer look to this matter even more if you have PPC campaign, as this may decrease your ad spending a lot, your branding and of course not letting other take advantage of your unique brands.

We are grateful to Google on this matter, even when it took a lot of hard work; they were very helpful...still you have to keep an eye on this continuously.

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