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Microsoft announced recently a change to their trademark policy – they will no longer investigate complaints related to trademark keywords.
This change means now Microsoft adCenter are moving closer to being more in line with Google AdWords – as you may know Google has been allowing bidding on trademark terms for a while!
So what does this change mean? Well, great if you’ve got a big player in your market who you want a slice of – not so great if you are that big player!
One big thing here to note is that the trademark policy change applies to keywords you are bidding on, not the ad text you write. So you can for example bid on ‘Brand X’ as a keyword, but then cannot write “We Are Better than Brand X” or something similar in your ad copy – that is still breaking trademark policy.
Things to consider…
There are some key points within the trademark terms for both AdWords and adCenter which should be considered – some match, some don’t so be aware when importing and transferring campaigns:
As with all topics concerning Trademarks this is still very much a grey area as to whether you should or shouldn’t bid on competitors trademarks. What we are covering in this post is merely the change in trademark policy from Microsoft – the debate will continue within our industry for many years!
A recent case which took place in California may make you rethink your strategy: Binder v. Disability Group
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