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Trademarks in AdWords

As we all know, using trademarks in AdWords can be both very helpful and at the same time it can be very painful process.


If we want to think about using trademarks in AdWords's ads - headline/decription lines we have to make sure we meet policies and requirements.


Firstly I would like to talk about Authorization policy. If you want to use trademarks in your Ad, then you have to send Google proper documents proving you're the owner of this trademark and giving permission to certain Google AdWords Account to use this trademark.


Tip number #1 - Even if you're not owner of the trademark, but maybe just business partner you can still be authorized by trademark owner. If you don't know who to contact then Google have this huge list of contact details for many trademark owners and can request for them.


If you're not authorized to use trademark, you can still use it, if you meet conditions that differs from country to country.


  1. In case of Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland there are Reseller and information policies, which are mostly requirements on your landing page.
  2. For European and EFTA regions there's EU and EFTA policy, there are requirements on how to use trademarks in Ad Text.

So if we meet requirements above we are able to use trademarks in our AdWords account. But if trademark owner files a complaint that he/she does not wish everyone to use their trademark, then Google will restrict anyone from using it.


Tip number #2

If you file a request for trademark in one country and it gets granted, then you're trademark owner only for this particular country. That means if you know your business is about to expand in other countries(at least countries right across the boarder), then you should consider also apply for trademark in these countries as well - process might take long and until it's done competitors can safely use your brand name in their Ads since you don't own the right for it - so think about do this in advance.


And there goes also Tip number #3

That also means if you Ads are disapproved because of trademark usage in one country, you can still be able to target the same brand in another country and get approved - This brand/company might not have trademark there.


Where can you use trademarks without any issues?

  1. Keywords - absolutely without problem you can target any trademark by your keywords.
  2. Display URL - Again, no problem there.

Tip number #4

Display URL's domain name- as we all know, if we have Display URL PINEapple.xx/something it's always going to be just pineapple.xx/something in actual ad showed to our customers. Maybe not always. You can apply for trademark of your brand/website like this - PINEAPPLE - with capitals. And once we have this term trademarked we can use it in our display URL - PINEAPPLE.xx/something - you will still see only www.pineapple.xx in your display URL, but...BUT if your ad appears above the organic search there's a chance your display URL might show up next to your headline and in that case it is going to be literally what you have in your display url. And having something in capital letters in headline is a huge advantage in AdWords.


Tip number #5

If you are trademark owner and let's say you have a brand for example: "pineapple" and this brand is trademarked as "pineapple". But wouldn't it be nice if we could just use our brand in our ads like this: "PINEAPPLE". Then you should also get trademark for your brand with capital letters and if you have done so, then you can use it in your Ads since it's the legal name of your brand/website.


Tip number #6

If you are registered trademark owner you can use symbol ® next to your brand in ads, for example: pineapple® - again huge deal breaker on CTR since this trademark symbol is very uncommon to be seen in Ads and you can really stand off the crowd with this.



Tip number #7

What if there's a case where you want to use some trademark in your Ad, but you are not allowed to do so, because you're nor authorized to use it?

You can always try to modify this trademark so it still has equal value for your customers and hope this modification is also not trademarked. For example: You want to use ''Ives Paint Saurent'' trademark in your ad, you are not allowed to do so, you can try some other expressions like only ''Saurent'', "I.P. Saurent", "IPS" etc.. It will still makes sense and maybe these words won't be trademarked.


Hope this will be at least slightly useful!


More information:

Adwords Trademark Policy
Help for trademark owners


about Tomáš Kraus

I'm grateful that I can be part of this amazing Adwords Community - People from all over the world sharing their thoughts, ideas, tips in such a polite and respectable way.

MosheTLV Top Contributor
February 2015

I would not advise to game the system by using "editorial tricks" to "mask" the trade-name...this could be  risky

Tomáš Kraus Badged Google Partner
February 2015

Hello Moshe, I understand your concern here. But I have found these little modifications very safe. I'm not trying to encourage someone to write Nokiia instead of Nokia to get over the system or dishonor the brand. But use another expression for brand that people also know/use, but that is not under trademark restriction.