AdWords Trademark Policy

Help for advertisers | Help for trademark owners

Google's approach to trademarks

If a trademark owner files a complaint with Google about the use of their trademark in AdWords ads, Google will investigate and may enforce certain restrictions on the use of that trademark in AdWords text ads. More help for trademark owners

There are multiple factors that determine when trademarks can be used in AdWords text ads. Along with the factors described below, these policies apply only to trademarked terms where the owner submitted a valid complaint to Google and requested that the terms be restricted in Google ad campaigns.

Trademark terms used in ad text

Google will investigate and may restrict the use of a trademark within ad text. Ads using restricted trademarks in their ad text may not be allowed to run. This policy applies worldwide.

Exceptions: Here are some cases when the policy for ad text doesn't apply in the way described above:

         
  • Ad campaigns targeting the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland may use a trademark in ad text if the ad is in compliance with our policy on resellers and informational sites. Reseller and informational site policy

    When such ads can show in these regions:

         Resellers:
    • The ad's landing page is primarily dedicated to selling (or clearly facilitating the sale of) the goods or services corresponding to a trademark term.
      OR
      The ad's landing page is primarily dedicated to selling (or clearly facilitating the sale of) the components, replacement parts or compatible products relating to the goods or services of the trademark.
    • The product or services must be the primary focus of the ad's landing page. The landing page must clearly provide a way to purchase the product or services OR display commercial information about the product or services.
         Informational sites:
    • The primary purpose of the ad's landing page is to provide informative details about goods or services corresponding to the trademark term.
    • The product or services must be the primary focus of the ad's landing page.

    When such ads cannot show in these regions:

    The following ads will not be able to run:

    • Ads that do not lead to a landing page that clearly facilitates the sale of either (i) the goods or services corresponding to the trademark or (ii) parts or components related to the goods or services corresponding to the trademark
    • Ads using the term in a competitive way, including ads with a landing page selling or facilitating the sale of goods or services of a competitor of the trademark owner
    • Ads that do not lead to a landing page which provides substantive information about the goods or services corresponding to a trademark

    This policy applies only to ads in campaigns targeting the United States, Canada ,the United Kingdom or Ireland showing on google.com, google.co.uk, google.ie, google.ca or on the Google Display Network.

    For more details, see some common questions about our policy on resellers and informational sites.

  •                
  • Advertisers can use a trademarked term within ad text if they are authorised, meaning that the trademark owner sent Google the necessary form allowing an advertiser's particular account to use a certain term. Authorisation policy

    A trademark owner (or contact person listed on the trademark complaint) can provide Google with authorisation to let specific AdWords accounts use the trademark in ad campaigns. Here are some important things to know about authorisations:

    Who needs authorisation?

    Any AdWords advertiser wanting to use a trademark after a complaint was filed must be authorised, including the trademark owner themselves, official affiliates and partners, regional branches, franchisees and subsidiaries. Trademark owners can authorise advertisers (including themselves if they have an AdWords account) in their complaint form or in a separate authorisation form.

    Authorisation is given to individual AdWords accounts, so the trademark owner must submit the customer ID of each AdWords account they want to authorise. Any master (MCC) account numbers will automatically have authorisation extended to all current and future child accounts.

    The process

    For advertisers: Please contact the trademark owner directly and ask that they fill in the form mentioned below to authorise your account. If you don’t know who to contact, request contact information and we’ll help you find the trademark’s owner. Google cannot arrange the authorisation for you.

    For trademark owners: Use this authorisation form to request authoriation for an AdWords account.

    • Only the official trademark owner or the contact person listed on the trademark complaint can authorise the use of their trademark. We are not able to accept requests from regional branches or subsidiaries of the trademark owner, unless previously designated by the trademark owner.
    • We can either prohibit all use or allow all use of a particular term by an advertiser. Therefore, we cannot accept conditional authorisation requests which include a time expiration or limitations on use of the term in specific contexts.
    • The trademark owner may change or rescind authorisation at any time.

  • An ad can use a trademarked term in its text if either of these conditions is true:
    • the ad text uses the term descriptively in its ordinary meaning rather than in reference to the trademark
    • the ad is not in reference to the goods or services corresponding to the trademarked term

EU and EFTA policy
For ad campaigns targeting the European Union and EFTA regions, the ad text policy above applies.  Therefore, we do not prevent the selection of trademarks as keywords in the EU and EFTA. However, in response to a complaint, we will do a limited investigation as to whether a keyword (in combination with particular ad text) is confusing with regards to the origin of the advertised goods and services.

Details of EU and EFTA policy

In response to a complaint, we will do a limited investigation to see whether the use of a trademarked term as a keyword in combination with particular ad text is confusing as to the origin of the advertised goods and services (such as a keyword and ad that falsely imply affiliation with the trademark owner). If the combination of a keyword and ad text is confusing, we will disapprove the specific ad mentioned in the complaint so that it can't run.

Under our EU and EFTA policy, the following types of ads may use a trademark as a keyword, provided that the combination of the keyword and ad is not confusing (as described above). The following are examples and not an exhaustive list:

  • Ads using a trademarked term when that term is being used in its ordinary meaning rather than in reference to the trademark
  • Ads for competing products or services
  • Ads for resale of the trademarked goods or service
  • Ads for the sale of components, replacement parts or compatible products corresponding to a trademark
  • Ads for informational sites about a product or service corresponding to the trademark
List of affected regions
  • Åland
  • Austria
  • Bassas da India
  • Belgium
  • Bouvet Island
  • Bulgaria
  • Clipperton Island
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Europa Island
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Glorioso Islands
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guernsey
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jan Mayen
  • Jersey
  • Juan de Nova Island
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Svalbard
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tromelin Island
  • United Kingdom
  • Wallis and Futuna
                     

Trademark terms used in keywords

Google will not investigate or restrict the use of trademark terms in keywords, even if a trademark complaint is received.

Other uses of trademark terms

The trademark policies described here apply only to the use of trademarks in Google AdWords text ads.

See information about our policy on the use of trademarks in these areas:

Ad display URLs

As described in the section above, Google can investigate and may restrict the use of trademarks in ad text. This process does not apply to trademarks used in an ad's Display URL (the website address shown in green within an ad).

Google will not investigate and restrict use of the trademark in display URLs because the presence of a trademarked term within a URL may not necessarily constitute trademark use, such as in the case of post-domain paths or subdomains. Trademark owners can contact the advertiser directly regarding any concerns about Display URLs. Please understand that Google is not in a position to be the arbiter of third-party disputes. Additionally, if the domain name contains or is similar to a trademark, but is actually owned by the advertiser, the trademark owner is the appropriate party to handle the matter, such as through the Uniform Domain Resolution Process (UDRP).

Google search results

The trademark policies described here apply only to the use of trademarks in Google AdWords text ads. These ads are clearly marked as "Ads" on Google search results pages and as "Ads by Google" on our Display Network. Other types of trademark complaints, such as trademarks used in sites that appear in Google search results, are not covered under our investigation process. For any such concerns, please see how to contact the site owner directly.

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