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Help for trademark owners

Notice: there is now a Trademarks Troubleshooter available to help you pinpoint your issue.

AdWords Trademark Policy | Help for advertisers

 

Google recognizes the importance of trademarks. Our AdWords Terms and Conditions prohibit intellectual property infringement by advertisers. Advertisers are responsible for the keywords and ad content they choose to use.

We take allegations of trademark infringement very seriously and, as a courtesy, we investigate valid complaints raised by trademark owners or their authorized agents. However, Google is not in a position to mediate third party disputes, and we encourage trademark owners to resolve their disputes directly with advertisers.

Overview

In addition to directly contacting advertisers, trademark owners who are concerned about trademark use in AdWords ads can do several things:

  • Submit a complaint about the use of your trademark in AdWords ads.
  • After filing a complaint, you can authorize specific AdWords accounts to use your trademark, including your own account or those of any partners or affiliates you may have.
  • If your concerns relate to counterfeit goods or copyrighted content, see Google's Counterfeit goods policy and Copyrighted content policy.               

Submit a complaint about the use of your trademark

Google won't restrict the use of your trademark in AdWords text ads unless you submit a valid complaint, even if your trademark is registered.

Who can submit a complaint

 

  • Owners: You can submit a trademark complaint to Google if you own rights to the trademark within a given region. We normally accept complaints from the headquarters of the registered trademark owner, the owner's authorized agents, the owner's legal counsel, or an agency acting as the first point of contact.
  • Other entities: For any other entity to submit a complaint, the trademark owner needs to email ads-trademarks@google.com and confirm that the specific entity is "authorized to act on our behalf with respect to Google AdWords trademark matters." After the trademark owner sends this authorization, the entity can submit complaints and authorizations on behalf of the trademark owner. This process applies to subsidiaries, regional branches, dealerships, franchises, or any entity other than the headquarters of the registered trademark owner.
  • Trademark owners don't need to be AdWords advertisers to submit a complaint.
               
Trademark issues we investigate

 

  • Google ads: Investigations will only affect Google AdWords text ads. 
  • Ad part: We investigate the use of trademarks in ad text only. We do not investigate trademarks as keywords, or in display URLs. In response to a complaint about an Expanded text ad, we may restrict a trademark from appearing in the subdomain of an advertiser's display URL. Note that the ad may not be disapproved; instead, no subdomains will appear in the display URL. See our trademark policy for more details.
  • Search results: Google's trademark policy doesn't apply to search results. If you have concerns about websites appearing in search results, contact the site owner directly.
  • Geographic scope: Because trademark rights are territorial, we're only able to investigate the use of your trademark in regions where you own active trademark rights. If your complaint concerns the use of your trademark in multiple regions, please include the requested information for each region.
  • Trademark rights: The process to acquire trademark rights, either through registration or use, varies from region to region. Google can't register trademarks for you. For additional information, consult your legal counsel.
               

How to submit a complaint

Before you submit a complaint, it's very important that you read all of the information above and understand our trademark policy.

After you've read all the associated information and confirmed that you are eligible to submit a complaint, fill out this complaint form.

We may share your email address with advertisers who inquire about authorization for your trademark. When you're completing the complaint form, provide an email address that will be appropriate for such requests.                

Details about the form

Here are a few things to keep in mind while you complete these fields of the form:

"Scope of complaint:"

  • Select "only specific advertisers" to request that we investigate the trademark only in ads by specific advertisers. You'll provide the exact display URLs of the ads in question, and we won't investigate the trademark in ads by any other advertiser.
  • Select "all advertisers" to request that we investigate the trademark in all relevant ads. You won't need to provide the display URLs of the ads in question.     
"Customer ID" and "Authorized entities:"
  • If your complaint is against "only specific advertisers," you don't need to complete this section, as your complaint will only be reviewed in relation to the advertisers you have identified.
  • If your complaint is against "all advertisers," provide a complete list of all AdWords customer IDs or URLs that are authorized to use your trademark. Advertisers whose accounts aren't submitted for authorization, including the trademark owner, may have ads disapproved and stopped from running. If you have any licensees, dealerships, authorized resellers, advertising partnerships, or regional branches that you would like to authorize, provide a list of their customer IDs or URLs to ensure that their ads are not affected by the investigation.
                What to expect next

After submitting the online form, you'll receive an auto-generated email confirmation. When we've reviewed your complaint, we'll send a response to the email address you provided in the complaint form, indicating whether we'll proceed with an investigation. 

We receive a high volume of trademark complaints, and we review them in the order that they are received. We're unable to provide trademark owners with specific timelines because the length of each review and potential investigation can vary depending on the trademark, the volume of trademark use in question, and the nature of the complaint.

Authorize accounts to use your trademark

A trademark owner (or contact person listed on the trademark complaint) can authorize specific AdWords accounts to use the trademark in ad campaigns.

You can authorize accounts either while completing the complaint form or in a separate authorization form after we have a complaint on file.

Counterfeit goods and copyrighted content policies

Google has separate complaint procedures for issues related to counterfeit goods and copyrighted content. If your complaint concerns counterfeit goods or copyrighted content, see the links below to learn about these two policies.

Counterfeit goods complaints: Google's Counterfeit goods policy concerns the actual goods promoted on the site or app featured in the ad, whereas our trademark policy concerns use of the trademark in the ad itself. Google AdWords prohibits the sale or promotion for sale of counterfeit goods. Counterfeit goods contain a trademark or logo that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark of another. They mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to be passed off as a genuine product of the brand owner.

Copyrighted content complaints: Our Copyrighted content policy concerns the copying of a work itself (such as software, books, artwork, or movies). Google restricts the promotion of copyrighted content. To learn more about how we handle copyright issues within the AdWords program, see the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our DMCA procedure .

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