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How Google Handles Trademark Infringement

Posted on 3.16.2009

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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