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How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

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# 1
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Say, for example, I submit a complaint to Google that someone is infringing my trademark.

 

Google investigates and decides whether or not the use of the mark is an infringement and restricts (or doesn't) the Adwords users.

 

What happens when, two years from now, someone tries to use the term (in an infringing way) in the text of their ads?  Does Google set up a barrier that prevents all use of the term without authorization?  Does Google constantly police this?  If the term is used and it triggers a red flag, does Google then do another investigation to determine if the ad violates one of their policies?

 

I guess my question is, how long does the complaint last for?  And will Google police new attempts to use the mark, or do I need to?

 

Thanks

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Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Jameson, welcome to the Community.

 

It's a great question but I'm afraid I haven't the slightest idea what the answer is.  I know that Google do actively "recognise" some trademarks so that they never make it out in an Ad, but I don't know whether they recognise all trademarks that have been the subject of a complaint.

 

I'll ask around.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

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# 3
Top Contributor

Hello there;

 

Does Google set up a barrier that prevents all use of the term without authorization?  - Correct. As long as the trade mark is registered, in a given territory for a given business.

 

Does Google constantly police this? - And will Google police new attempts to use the mark- Yes - as Jon mentioned. But this is  done by robots / machinesThose are not as perfect as  a human, so there are cases that "escape the radar". But, you can  file a complaint.

 

-Moshe

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

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# 4
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Thanks for the help,

 

So I take your answer to mean: that once (if) Google's robot has detected that someone is trying to use the term in their ad, Google will review it (with a person-or otherwise) to see if the use is somehow fair (within their acceptable uses trademark policies)?  This is a two step process?

 

I'm less concerned with Google's robots making mistakes than with the idea that at some point Google's going to drop the radar entirely and policing the mark will be up to the trademark owner themselves.  I wouldn't think a mark would be protected for eternity or maybe it would be?

 

Thanks again for any help.

 

 

Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
Hello Again;

"So I take your answer to mean: that once (if) Google's robot has detected that someone is trying to use the term in their ad, Google will review it (with a person-or otherwise) to see if the use is somehow fair (within their acceptable uses trademark policies)?  This is a two step process"? - The ad will  automatically be disapproved

 

"I'm less concerned with Google's robots making mistakes than with the idea that at some point Google's going to drop the radar entirely and policing the mark will be up to the trademark owner themselves.  I wouldn't think a mark would be protected for eternity or maybe it would be?" - The best info on that would be Google's statement on trademarks.

 

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

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# 6
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Moshe,

 

I've certainly looked at Google's statement on trademarks. The answer you propose seems to contradict Adwords Trademark Policy.  Or perhaps clarification is necessary, I am writing from the U.S. where the Adwords trademark policy is in the most permissive class.

 

"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."  

 

There are, however, situations in which ads containing a trademarked term will be permitted to run:

(1) "Ad campaigns... may use a trademark in ad text if the ad is in compliance with our policy on resellers and informational sites." 

 

Further, an ad can use a trademarked term in its text if either of these conditions is true:

(2) the ad text uses the term descriptively in its ordinary meaning rather than in reference to the trademark 

(3) the ad is not in reference to the goods or services corresponding to the trademarked term

 

See also, this clip of David Baker, Director of Engineering for Advertising at Google at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsCnKvBN2JE (starting at 14:14) (explaining that just because an ad contains a trademark, in certain regions it will not be automatically taken down).

 

If as you say, "the ad will automatically be disapproved" if a user tries to put up an ad with a protected term in it- hasn't Google ignored the fact that the ad may be using the term in a non infringing way (ex. descriptively or as a reseller).

 

If what you say is true, then Google only investigates whether users are using the term "in certain circumstances that [Google] considers fair" once the complaint is filed and then a blanket prohibition is put on that term for all subsequent attempts at advertising.  

 

I just didn't see anywhere a distinction made by Google, nor does any reason occur to me that seems reasonable, that ads can be used fairly, unless someone complains, then ads cannot be used in a fair manner.

 

Thanks,

 

Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

Hello again;

I will be brief, and elaborate later, (have to go ; excuse me for typos)

The process is the following: (Run a search on the community - You'll find many cases in which ads were disapproved)

 

Once the robot detected a trademark violation, the ad is disapproved; At this point, it is up to the advertiser to prove that he (=the advertiser) is eligible  to use the trade name (by submitting an authorization form - see link on the Policy page). If Google is convinced that the trade-name can be used in the ad-text (e.g. a reseller) then ads is approved.

 

Please note that we are discussing only  using a trade-name in a-text. Google allows using trade-names as keywords, irrelevant of whether the advertiser is the owner or not.

 

As said run a quick search for "ad disapproved trade-name" - you'll find many cases of advertisers' complaints about ads disapproved due to trade-names violation.

-Moshe

 

PS: the policy uses a legal language and should be interpreted in accordance.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

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# 8
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Thanks again Moshe,

 

And I don't mean to rush you... I appreciate the quick reply with more to come later, but I want to just clarify my confusion so as not to waste your time.

 

You said the advertiser must prove they are a reseller by submitting the authorization form - from what I've read by on Adwords community (thanks for that advise by the way), there are two ways an advertiser gets access: 1.) an authorization form from the trademark owner, or 2.) resubmitting their form proving to Google they are a legitimate reseller.  Do I have that right?

Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Hello again Jameson;

The idea is simple: (though technicalities are more complex to fill in the forms)

  •  
  • Google will not show an ad with a trademark in the text, by an advertiser,   not authorized by the trade-name owner. (The reseller was an example. Not necessarily that every reseller can show an ad with the trade-name in ad text. Read the special procedure for a reseller)
  •  
  • Google will let advertisers (in the US!) bid on the trade-name as a keyword. So, when a user searches for the trade-name, a competitor's ad can be shown. (But ad text will not include the trade-name)

-Moshe

 

 


Jameson O wrote:

Thanks again Moshe,

 

And I don't mean to rush you... I appreciate the quick reply with more to come later, but I want to just clarify my confusion so as not to waste your time.

 

You said the advertiser must prove they are a reseller by submitting the authorization form - from what I've read by on Adwords community (thanks for that advise by the way), there are two ways an advertiser gets access: 1.) an authorization form from the trademark owner,  - Correct 

or 2.) resubmitting their form proving to Google they are a legitimate reseller.  Do I have that right? - With some exceptions and restrictions. See my comment above and read the reseller Policy






Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: How long does Google police a Trademark complaint for?

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# 10
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Very helpful Moshe,

 

Last quick question- once a general complaint has been accepted, how long will Google keep the term out of ad text?