Google Updates it’s U.S. Trademark Policy Again

Another Google Trademark Policy Update – Trademarks allowed in Ad Copy in USA to allegedly avoid user confusion in search. See what we think

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Google announced this week even more updates to its trademark policy within the United States.

It was only recently that the policy was changed to allow trademarked terms to be used as keywords and therefore trigger ads and they are now making further changes which allow these terms to be used within ad copy too.

At present, Google allows trademark holders to request that their trademark terms are not used within ad copy, nonetheless, due to the previous changes, there are no restrictions in place to stop these trademark terms being used as keywords within their campaigns.

However, from June 15th this will no longer be the case and anyone, as long as they are a reseller of the trademarked product or offer information regarding it, will be allowed to include the trademark term within their ad copy.

The new policy change only applies in the U.S and only affects ads displayed on and to the U.S users on the search and content networks. The change is occuring because Google feels that it will help increase the relevancy and quality of the ads it displays and therefore improve user’s experience when using Google search.

As the policy stands, advertisers are not allowed to include trademark terms of products that they sell or review within their Adwords ad copy, if that term has been protected by the trademark owner.

Therefore if an online store sells trainers or sports equipment that is made by a particular brand that is a protected trademark term then that term is not used in ad copy, meaning that the sports store would not be able to include the particular brand names of the products that they sell in their ads.

Their ad copy would have to say ‘Tennis rackets for sale, at great prices’ or ‘Sports trainers available at discount prices’, but would not be able to be specific in the sports brand that they are referring to, such as Wilson or Nike for instance, even though the search term entered to trigger the ad contained that brand name.

Google feels that this is confusing to the user and feels that the change in the policy will help advertisers create more narrowly targeted ads and make it clear to the searcher exactly what they are selling / offering.

However, some people may wonder why Google have had this sudden change of heart regarding its trademark policies and we can’t ignore the fact that the transformation will help to increase their profits. We will just have to wait and see if this increase in revenue will cost them the trust of their advertisers in the U.S.


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