Trademark help for advertisers

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

Overview of the trademark process

If a trademark owner files a complaint to Google about the use of their trademark, Google 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 in which the trademark owner claims trademark rights.

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

               

Trademark approval statuses

Depending on the region that your ad campaign targets, an ad using a trademark can have an approval status of "Approved," "Approved - Limited," or "Disapproved."

Approved

  • What it means: Your ad meets AdWords policies and does not violate any trademark restrictions that are currently in place from trademark complaints we have on file. Our trademark policies will not prevent approved ads from running.

Approved (limited)

  • What it means: Your ad and its landing page comply with our policy on resellers and informational sites. Therefore, your ad is eligible to use the trademark in ad text and appear within the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. In all other regions where the trademark complaint applies, your ad will not run.
  • What you can do: If you want your ad to appear in other regions, you can remove the trademark term from your ad text, or contact the trademark owner to request authorization.

Disapproved

  • What it means: Your ad cannot run because it uses a trademark in a restricted way.
  • What you can do: Your ad can be disapproved for a variety of trademark related reasons. To see the details of the disapproval, go to your account's Ads tab and click the white speech bubble next to "Disapproved" in the Status column. You'll see the trademark term in question and a link to our policy.

Here are a few common scenarios and some information on what you can do in each case.

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

If your ad uses a trademark term in a way that's not meant in reference to that trademark, please send an email to ads-trademarks@google.com. Make sure to include the trademark term in question, the entire text of the ad and keywords, and the customer ID number of your AdWords account. It can also be helpful if you include a screenshot of your ad.

I should be authorized to use this term

  • For trademark owners -- If you are the trademark owner and your ads were disapproved for that trademark, please send us an authorization notice using our trademark authorization form or by emailing 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 child accounts.

  • For third parties -- If you're an agency, affiliate, franchise, dealership, regional branch, or subsidiary, you'll need to have the trademark owner's headquarters submit an authorization for each of your accounts. You can also have the trademark owner grant permission for you to submit future authorizations and trademark complaints on the owner's behalf. The owner should send us a notice directly to ads-trademarks@google.com that your entity is "authorized to act on our behalf with respect to Google AdWords trademark matters." For help finding contact information for the trademark owner, please use this form

  • For other advertisers -- If you have a business agreement with the trademark owner or have some other reason to believe that you should be authorized, the trademark owner will have to send Google an authorization notice. Please contact the trademark owner directly, as Google cannot arrange the authorization for you. If you don't know who to contact, request contact information. We cannot accept licensing agreements in lieu of formal authorization.

Note: Once your account is authorized, your disapproved ads will not be automatically re-approved. You'll need to resubmit your ads before the authorization can take effect and your ads be eligible for approval.

I'm a reseller or informational site

Who qualifies:
This policy applies to ads that appear to be submitted by resellers, informational sites, the makers or resellers of components or parts for the goods and services related to the trademark term, or compatible components or parts for the goods and services related to the trademark term.

The policy:
If your ad campaign targets the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland, ads that satisfy the criteria above can use a trademarked term in ad text. The product or service from resellers must be on the ad's landing page and must be clearly available for purchase.

If you haven't already, please review the policy on resellers and informational sites to learn when and how ads can be affected.

Where ads can show:
Ads that comply with this policy and that target the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland, can use trademark terms within those regions without explicit authorization from the trademark owner.

Ads targeting any other region are not eligible to run with a restricted term in the ad text. However, advertisers who have authorization directly from the trademark owner will automatically be allowed to show ads with the trademark within the ad text in any region.

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

  • Possible reason: This policy allows ads to run with a trademark in the ad text when the landing page is either primarily dedicated to providing informative details about the goods or services associated with the trademark OR clearly sells or facilitates the sale of the goods or services associated with the trademark. If your landing page doesn't specifically do one of those, it will not be approved to run.
    What you can do: In order for your ad text with the trademark term to run, you can edit your ad's destination URL to a page in your site that complies with this policy or edit your ad text to ensure it is compliant with our trademark policy.

  • Possible reason: If your landing page provides relevant information only through certain non-text formats (like flash, videos, or images), it may be disapproved. Since our policy requires this information to be on your landing page, your ad can be disapproved if this information is provided in this format.
    What you can do: Consider changing your website's landing page to include the relevant content in text or add text attributes to the page's rich media elements. Once your landing page complies with our policy, resubmit your ad for review.

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

Ads using keyword insertion:
If your ad text and landing page comply with the policy on resellers and informational sites, your ad with keyword insertion can show a keyword that uses the trademark without approval from the trademark owner. If your ad text and landing page do not comply with this policy, the keyword might trigger the ad but it will not be inserted into the ad text.

Keyword destination URLs:
If your ad uses keyword destination URLs and contains a restricted trademark in ad text or keyword that inserts into ad text, we'll review each landing page for compliance with our policy on resellers and informational sites. Whether an ad uses keyword destination URLs, creative level destination URLs, or a combination of both, we will evaluate the landing page the user sees in each circumstance for compliance with our policy.

None of the above apply to me

If none of the scenarios above apply to your situation, you can either request permission to use the trademark term or you can delete the term from your ads.

  • To receive permission to use the trademark, contact the trademark owner directly to request their formal authorization. For more details, see the section above called "I should be authorized to use this term."
  • If you're not able to receive authorization to use the trademark, consider removing the trademark term from your ad. Once you edit your ad , save the change to automatically submit it to Google for review, which could result in the ad being approved to run.


Advertisers are still responsible for the ad text and keywords they choose under this policy, per our Terms and Conditions. If you're not sure about proper trademark use, please contact your legal counsel directly.