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trademark infringement non shopping ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have just spent the most exasperating 45 minutes of my entire life trying to get an offending ad removed from Google shopping ads!

 

ETI (Electronic Temperature Instruments Ltd) manufacture the Thermapen thermometer. Thermapen® is a registered trademark in the UK (2025607), EU (008449571) and the USA (3898535)

 

We use Google shopping ads, as do many of our resellers and distributors – on doing a search for ‘Thermapen’ on Google shopping the following page is displayed:

 

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=thermapen&rlz=1C1WSCA_enGB528GB528&oq=thermapen&aqs=chrome.0.69i59...

 

Note the top ad. This displays the title… Comark Thermapen – Grey (General Purpose) along with a photo of a Comark Pocketherm thermometer and 7 reviews belonging to ETI (us) relating to a Thermapen.

 

 

Click the ad title, then ‘compare prices from 10 shops’ displays links to shops selling as follows:

https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/15682006036268818486?biw=1297&bih=812&es_sm=93&noj=1&q=the...Smiley Surprised

 

Ebay:- Comark Pocketherm:  – right title and image

Pubshop Catalogue: - Selling a  Comark Pocketherm but using ETI Thermapen as title and a Thermapen image

Homeshop Catalogue: - Selling a  Comark Pocketherm but using ETI Thermapen as title and a Thermapen image

Auravita.com:- Comark Pocketherm:  – right title and image

KCM Catering:- Comark Pocketherm:  – right title and image

CateringZone:- Comark Pocketherm:  – right title and image

Click’n’order:- Comark Pocketherm:  – right title and image

Wechillit:- Selling a  Comark Pocketherm but using ETI image

Redmoon Catering:  Looks to be selling a Thermapen – using a Comark SKU

AirComfort Centre: Selling a Red Thermapen with correct image

 

Comark is a competing thermometer manufacturer – this product has nothing to do with a Thermapen.

 

This ad should rightly be grouped in with other Comark product ads and all Thermapen sellers removed

 

I contacted (via live chat) a Shopping Ads customer service agent and spent the next 45 minutes explaining the error – which he could plainly see, but was advised by his supervisor that he could do nothing about it, as trademarks are not protected by Shopping Ads, but are by Adwords.

 

I was then told I would need to contact all advertisers using this ad (10 of them) to ‘ask’ them to rectify the issue. Thus relying on an offending infringer to remedy the issue.

 

Plainly this is a very unsatisfactory (not to mention lengthy) process.

 

Since Both Adwords and Shopping ads are paid for services surely it is not unreasonable for trademark holders to be afforded the same protection under both!

 

Can nothing be done by Google to sort out this mess – and prevent it happening in future?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: trademark infringement non shopping ads

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor


based on the posted information, the trademark violation seems to be from the
landing-page information, not contained within the ad; while the information
may be pertinent to an investigation these are likely not relevant to the specific
violation with respect to an ad being seen within google-shopping.

there does not seem to be any specific ad on google-shopping
that shows both the exact improper image and title -- rather,
the information seems to derived by inspecting the merchant's
website product page.

the "top ad" is a link leading to a pop-up and compare-prices --
not a specific merchant's ad; rather, that is simply link summary
information, automatically generated, leading to the actual ads.

compare-prices are most often automatically grouped by global-trade-data
and many other factors -- the automated groupings and summaries are not
necessarily an issue with the merchant but can sometimes be an issue with
the automation -- or a combination of improper data being submitted by the

merchants and the (grouping and related summary) automation.

therefore, the best likely course would be to submit the send-feedback
form near the bottom of the compare-prices page so someone can verify
the automated groupings are proper -- while also submitting a separate
shopping-violation form, for each merchant who is violating the policies,

under compare-prices, for a potential global-trade-data violation.

 

global-trade-data are the gtin, brand, and mpn data submitted by merchants --
all merchants selling the same product should be submitting the exact same
global-trade-data as assigned by the manufacturer to the exact item being sold.


if a merchant is also submitting improper images or other attributes such
as title, related to product-data that relate to trademarks the individual
ads would need to be cited with the corresponding (aclk) links to a specific
ad, not landing-page information, and a separate violation form submitted.

for product-listing-ads (google-shopping) the form for
reporting potential policy violations is currently here:
https://support.google.com/merchants/contact/policy

as an aside, google will generally not comment on any policy-violation
investigation and will not report any status, progress, or resolution,
except with the specific merchant who is being investigated.

if the issue relates to the website's product pages then,
as was indicated, that is likely mainly a legal issue and
outside the scope of the forum or the ads being seen.

the forms for reporting related violations of applicable laws are currently here:
https://support.google.com/adwords/contact/copyright
https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905