Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

Trademark help for advertisers

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

AdWords Trademark Policy | Help for trademark owners

 

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.

Overview of the trademark process

If a trademark owner submits a complaint to Google about the use of their trademark, Google will review the complaint and may enforce certain restrictions on the use of that trademark in AdWords text ads. These restrictions will affect text ads from campaigns that target the regions where the trademark owner has a complaint on file.

If you haven't already, review our trademark policy to learn when and how ads can be affected.

Trademark approval statuses

Depending on the location targeting of your AdWords ad campaign, an ad using a trademark can have an approval status of "Approved," "Approved - Limited," or "Disapproved."

Approved

  • What it means: Your ad complies with AdWords policies and doesn't violate any trademark restrictions that are currently in place from trademark complaints Google has on file. Our trademark policies won't prevent approved ads from running.

Approved (limited)

  • What it means: Under some circumstances, your ads may be eligible to run. For instance, if your ad complies with our Reseller and informational site policy, it will be eligible to use the trademark in ad text within these regions. Changes to your landing page content can affect compliance with this policy. As another example, if your ad targets a region where the trademark owner doesn’t have a complaint on file, it may be eligible to run within that region only. Updates to the regions within a complaint on file may affect where your ad is able to show. Keep in mind that due to location of interest targeting your ad may be shown to users whose query reflects an interest in a targeted region, but aren’t physically located in that region.
  • What you can do: If you want your ad to show in other regions, you can remove the trademark from your ad text, or contact the trademark owner to request authorization.

Disapproved

  • What it means: Your ad isn't running because it uses a trademark in a restricted way.
  • What you can do: You can find which ads are disapproved and why by looking at the "Status" column on your account's Ads tab. Hover over the white speech bubble next to "Disapproved" and click the disapproval reason to learn more. You'll see the trademark in question and a link to our policy. If you want your ad to run, you can remove the trademark from your ad text, or contact the trademark owner to request authorization.

Here are a few common scenarios and steps you can take in each case.

I wasn't using this term in reference to a trademark

If your ad uses a term in a way that isn't in reference to a trademark, please use this form. Make sure to include the term in question, a screenshot of your ad, and an example ad group.

I should be authorized to use this trademark
  • For trademark owners or their authorized agents: If your ads are disapproved for a trademark that you own, submit an authorization form or email ads-trademarks@google.com. Make sure to include the customer ID of each AdWords account or My Client Center (MCC) account that you want to authorize. MCC accounts will automatically have authorization extended to all current and future client accounts that they contain.

  • For other advertisers: The trademark owner will need to authorize your accounts. For help finding the trademark owner’s contact information, please use this form and select “No” to indicate that you aren’t the trademark owner. We cannot accept licensing agreements in the place of formal authorization.


    For additional information, see our authorization policy

After your account is authorized, disapproved ads won't be automatically approved. You'll need to resubmit your ads before any change in approval status can occur.

I'm a reseller or informational site

If you haven't already, review our Reseller and informational site policy to learn when and how ads can be affected.

Disapproved ads:
There are several reasons why your ads may not be running:

  • Possible reason: Under this policy, ads may use a trademark in ad text in these regions when the landing page is either primarily dedicated to providing informative details about the goods or services corresponding to the trademark OR selling or facilitating the sale of the goods or services corresponding to the trademark. If your landing page doesn't specifically do this, it won't comply with this policy.
    What you can do: Consider editing your ad's landing page URL to direct to a page in your site that complies with this policy.

  • Possible reason: The necessary information to determine policy compliance must be featured in text on your landing page. Accordingly, if your landing page provides that information only through non-text formats (like Flash, videos, or images), or dynamically inserted content (like Javascript windows embedded in pages), it may be disapproved. 
    What you can do: Consider including the relevant content in text on your ad's landing page or adding text attributes to the page's rich media elements. When you've made those changes, resubmit your ad for review.

If your ad is disapproved, but you believe that it complies with our policy, please contact AdWords support to request that your ad be reviewed again.

Keyword insertion:
If your ad text and landing page comply with this policy and the ad uses keyword insertion, it can insert a keyword that includes a trademark without explicit authorization from the trademark owner. If your ad text and landing page don't comply with this policy, the keyword may trigger the ad but it won't be inserted into ad text.

Keyword URLs:
If your ad uses keyword-level landing page URLs and includes a restricted trademark in ad text or as a keyword that inserts into ad text, we'll evaluate each landing page for compliance with this policy. Whether an ad uses keyword-level landing page URLs, ad-level landing page URLs, or a combination of both, we will evaluate the landing page that the user sees in each circumstance.

For more details, see some common questions about our Reseller and informational site policy.

None of the above apply to me

If none of the scenarios above reflect your situation, you can either request authorization to use the trademark or you can remove the trademark from your ads.

  • To request authorization to use the trademark, contact the trademark owner directly. For more details, see the section above, "I should be authorized to use this trademark."
  • Consider removing the trademark from your ad. After you edit your ad, save the change to automatically submit it to Google for review.


Advertisers are responsible for the keywords and ad content they choose to use under this policy, according to our AdWords Terms and Conditions. If you're not sure about proper trademark use, consult your legal counsel.

Was this article helpful?

You're viewing our Advertising Policies. For general AdWords support, visit the AdWords Help Center.