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Old 04-12-2007   #1
ClickingFast
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Trademarks in Keywords

Google's policy on trademarks with adwords is simple. If competitor uses the mark in their ad they will deal with it. Otherwise they will not.

I am all for competition and its true that I could hit back against competitors who bid on our trademark product names and company name by bidding on theirs. But, we get a lot more traffic and searches so we are on the losing end of the equation. Also, people with bottom feeder prices can unfairly compete using our trademarks against us. Seems wrong to me but lawyers say the case law on the issue of using trademark keywords is split.

I have slapped a few people who went too far with big foot letters from lawyers. How are others dealing with competitors bidding on keywords that contain their trademark in Google?

MSN and Yahoo seem to favor trademark holders a lot more and their editors will disable keywords with trademarks. Is Google on the losing end of this fight? I know Geico sued them and won... You see no competitors on the Geico keyword.
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Old 04-13-2007   #2
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You are right, Google will not do anything about advertising on trademarks. They will only stop competitors from using your trademarked terms in their advertising copy.

Google doesn't seem to enforce any trademarks unless you file a complaint with them first. You can do so here...
http://adwords.google.com/support/bi...y?answer=50006

There's not much else you can do from what I can tell. But like the old saying goes, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." You can and should bid on all of your competitors branded terms, assuming positive ROI. I wouldn't recommend doing anything shady or deceptive, but I see nothing wrong with this - even for competitors who are not doing the same to you.
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Old 04-13-2007   #3
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Actually, this week I was setting up campaigns for 2 different clients, and each had several search terms (not ads) rejected because they used terms that were restricted trademarks. I've never had this happen before (across 30+ clients).

I know sometimes their trademark filters fudge up (once I got a disapproval note saying "home" was trademarked), but could this actually be a sign of change over at big G?
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Old 04-13-2007   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah
Actually, this week I was setting up campaigns for 2 different clients, and each had several search terms (not ads) rejected because they used terms that were restricted trademarks. I've never had this happen before (across 30+ clients).

I know sometimes their trademark filters fudge up (once I got a disapproval note saying "home" was trademarked), but could this actually be a sign of change over at big G?
That was a bug that has since been fixed. Try again and the trademarks in keywords should be fine (in the US and Canada).
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Old 04-13-2007   #5
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maybe its because of the lawsuit my client (an EXTREMELY large international corp) and others are throwing at them.....
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Old 04-13-2007   #6
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didn't know it was a bug in the system, as I have also had keywords rejected for trademark reasons.

Had to call my adwords account manager to get the keywords approved.

I think there still must be a list of terms that google will flag if someone tries to buy.
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Old 04-16-2007   #7
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Trademarks can be enforced on ad copy AND keywords in the UK.
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Old 04-16-2007   #8
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Here's the reply I got this morning from Google about the recent problem with trademarked terms in keywords:
Quote:
The error message that you saw while using certain trademarks was due to a temporary technical issue. The issue has now been resolved, and you should not be facing this problem again.
(This applies only to US & Canada. In other countries, Google does prevent the use of trademarks in keywords.)
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Old 04-20-2007   #9
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I hope that law suit does not go through. It will hurt more companies than it will help.
http://www.thesemzone.com/2007/04/en...-lawsuits.html
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Old 04-21-2007   #10
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Trademarks

I have to disagree. If you start a company and you invest thousands of dollars to trademark and brand a unique product name do you think it is fair and legal for a competitor to start using your trademarked name as a keyword on google and making a profit off of your trademark? Essentially, your own brand can be used against you.

I do not think google is on the winning side of this argument.
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Old 04-22-2007   #11
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Funny how there are no advertisers for Google, one for Yahoo (not Yahoo) and a pile for Microsoft...

It is tough... when you go to the grocery store for Coke but you really mean cola.. get to the soda aisle and see all the selections and buy Pepsi...

You ask for a Kleenex but really only want a tissue...

There are a bunch of reasons for the Google stance... current law seems to support it in the US - so it is moot.

Buy the terms - to not do so is leaving profits on the table and not fair to your company or client... when the rules change change with them.
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