Updates to AdWords trademark policy

Google has made a policy revision that applies to complaints we receive regarding the use of trademarks as keywords. Starting on 23 April 2013, keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark investigation will no longer be restricted in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil.

While we will not prevent the use of trademarks as keywords in the affected regions, trademark owners will still be able to complain about the use of their trademark in ad text.

How does the revised policy affect which ads can be shown?

Google will no longer prevent advertisers from selecting a third party’s trademark as a keyword in ads targeting these regions.

Why did Google change its trademark policy?

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, so we will continue to investigate trademark complaints concerning use of trademarks in ad text. In addition, this change means that the AdWords policy on trademarks as keywords is now harmonised throughout the world. A consistent policy and user experience worldwide benefits users, advertisers and trademark owners alike.

Does this policy change impact the usage of trademarks in ad text?

No. This policy change relates to the use of trademarked terms as keywords.

Who is affected by the policy change?

Google's revised trademark policy applies to trademarks held in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil. This policy is already in effect in all other regions throughout world. Please consult our existing trademark policy for more information.

What will happen to existing trademark complaints?

Starting on 23 April 2013, keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark complaint and investigation will no longer be restricted in the affected regions. If you have an existing complaint on file that includes both keywords and ad text in one of the affected regions, we will continue to restrict use of your trademark in ad text.

Will Google respond to trademark complaints in the affected regions?

Yes. With respect to the use of trademarks in ad text in the affected regions, advertisers will be able to submit trademark complaints.

What are your plans to extend this policy to additional regions?

We do not restrict trademarks as keywords in any other regions. This policy change in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil brings these countries in line with our trademark keyword policy in the rest of the world.

Will trademark terms in my account start triggering ads?

Keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark investigation may begin triggering your ads in the affected regions, starting on 23 April 2013. If you do not want your ads to run on certain keywords, you can remove those keywords from your campaigns or add them as negative keywords.

Does this mean that I can now use trademark terms as keywords?

Google is not in a position to make recommendations regarding the use of terms corresponding to trademarks. If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact your legal counsel and consult the AdWords Terms and Conditions .

How do I change the list of those authorised to use my trademark in ad text?

If you would like to edit the list of authorised users of your trademark in your current trademark complaint, please send us a revised list. Learn more about our trademark authorisation procedure.

Who should I contact if I have further questions about this policy change?

You can email any questions you might have about the policy change to trademark-policy-revision@google.com.