Help for trademark owners

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 they choose to trigger their ads and the text they choose to use in those ads.

Google takes allegations of trademark infringement very seriously and, as a courtesy, we investigate matters raised by trademark owners. However, because Google is not a third-party arbiter, we encourage trademark owners to resolve their disputes directly with the advertisers, particularly because the advertisers may have similar ads running through other companies' advertising programs.

Overview

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

  • File a complaint to Google about the use of your trademark in AdWords ads so Google can investigate.
  • After filing a complaint, you can also authorize specific AdWords accounts to use your trademark, including your own AdWords account or those of any partners or affiliates you may have.
  • If your concerns relate to counterfeit or copyright, understand Google's counterfeit policy and copyright policy and what they mean to you.
               

File a complaint about the use of your trademark

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

Who can file a complaint

  • Owners: You can file a trademark complaint with Google if you own trademark rights to the term in question within the country in question. We normally accept trademark 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 parties: For any other party to file a complaint, the trademark owner needs to send written approval to ads-trademarks@google.com verifying that the specific entity is "authorized to act on our behalf with respect to Google AdWords trademark matters." Once the trademark owner sends this authorization, the party will be able to submit trademark complaints on behalf of the trademark owner. This process applies to parties such as subsidiaries, regional branches, dealerships, franchises, or any other entity besides the headquarters of the trademark owner listed on the trademark registration.
  • Trademark owners do not need to be AdWords advertisers to submit a complaint.
               

Trademark issues we investigate

  • Google ads: Investigations will only affect Google AdWords text ads. The inclusion of trademarks in the display URL (the website URL that's shown with the ad) will not be investigated nor restricted.
  • Regional investigations: We investigate the use of trademarks in ad text only worldwide. See our trademark policy for more details.
  • Global investigations: Please know that we cannot investigate trademark use globally. We're able to investigate the use of your trademark only in regions where you have active trademark rights. If your complaint concerns the use of your trademark in multiple regions, we'll follow the appropriate procedure for each region that's submitted in your complaint.
  • Search results: Google's trademark policy does not apply to search results, so if you have concerns about websites appearing in search results, please contact the site owner directly.
  • Registered trademarks: For registered trademarks, we need a trademark registration number or a copy of the registration before we can proceed with your complaint.
  • Unregistered trademarks: You'll need to demonstrate that you have valid trademark rights to the term in every region mentioned in your complaint. The process to become a trademark owner, either through registration or use rights, varies from region to region. Google cannot register trademarks for you. For additional information, please contact your legal counsel.
               

How to file a complaint

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

Once you've read all the associated information and have confirmed that you are eligible to submit a complaint, please fill out this trademark complaint form

Note that we may share your contact email address to advertisers who inquire about authorization for your trademark. Therefore, when you're completing the complaint form, please enter 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:

"Trademark details:" Trademarks are territorial and apply only to certain goods or services. Therefore, different parties can own the same mark in different countries or different industries. Accordingly, Google will ask you for information regarding where the mark is valid and for what goods or services.

"Scope of complaint:"

  • Choose "only specific advertisers" to request that Google investigates the trademark term in specific ads only. You'll provide the exact display URLs of the ads in question, and we won't investigate the trademark in any other ads.
  • Choose "all advertisers" to request that Google investigates 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 "specific advertisers," you don't need to complete this section, as your complaint will only be investigated in relation to the advertisers you have identified.
  • If your complaint is against "all advertisers," please provide a complete list of all accounts and/or URLs that are authorized to use your trademark. Accounts or URLs that are not submitted for authorization -- including the trademark owner's own accounts -- can have their ads disapproved and stopped from running. If you have any licensing agreements, dealerships, authorized resellers, advertising partnerships, or regional branches, please send us a list of their customer ID numbers or URLs to ensure that their ads are not affected by this investigation.
               

What to expect next

After submitting the online form, you'll receive an auto-response email confirmation. Unless there's an issue with your complaint, you won't receive any more emails from us until the investigation is finished.

Trademark complaints are reviewed in the order we receive them, and we work hard to process complaints as soon as possible. We're unable to provide trademark owners with timelines for when their complaints will be completed since the length of each investigation can vary depending on the trademark, the volume of trademark use in question, and the nature of the complaint.

Once we've completed our investigation, the Google Advertising Legal Support team will send a confirmation to the email address that you listed in the complaint. This email will let you know what action has been taken on the ads in question.

               

Authorize accounts to use your trademark

A trademark owner (or contact person listed on the trademark complaint) can send an authorization to Google that lets specific AdWords accounts use the trademark in ad campaigns.

Note that you can authorize accounts either while completing the complaint form or after your complaint was filed.

               

Counterfeit and Copyright policies

We have a separate complaint procedure for issues related to counterfeit goods and copyright material. If your complaint regards counterfeit goods or copyrights rather than trademarks, see the links below to learn about the procedure for those two policies.

Counterfeit complaints: Google's counterfeit policy concerns the actual goods promoted on the website in question, whereas our trademark policy concerns use of the trademark in the ad text or keywords. Counterfeit goods contain a trademark or logo that is identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the trademark of another. Such goods mimic the brand features of the product in an attempt to pass themselves off as a genuine product of the brand owner.

Copyright complaints: Our copyright policy concerns the copying of a product itself (software, books, artwork, movies, etc). Google AdWords prohibits the promotion of copying or the distribution of copyrighted content without consent from the copyright holder and not otherwise permitted by law. To learn more about how we handle copyright issues within the AdWords program, view the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and our DMCA procedure .