Google AdWords trademark policies can be confusing – especially if you don’t have prior experience with intellectual property or trademark law. We have been helping big brands, agencies, and networks protect their trademarked terms in paid search for the last 10 years. In that time, we’ve answered countless questions about AdWords trademark policies and brand bidding. I talked with our intrepid Customer Success Team to find out what are the most common questions they get asked and how they answer those questions.
1. Who can bid on your branded keywords and trademarked terms?
Many of our customers assume that only they – the brand owner – can bid on their branded keywords and trademarked terms. The truth though is that anyone can bid on your trademarked terms – even competitors.
Google wants to facilitate the flow of information and e-commerce via their search engine — not arbitrate or mediate partner agreements. While Google wants consumers to have a good user experience, they also want advertisers to compete for attention. Competitor bids drive up CPCs, which means more advertising revenue for Google.
There are rules around using trademarks in the ad copy. Savvy paid search managers know these rules and generally follow them. But if they see a competitor hasn’t bid on their own trademark terms, they may jump on the opportunity to claim the top paid spot on Google, while still complying with Google’s rules.
2. Can anyone use my trademark in their ad copy?
This question is a little more difficult