We're hiring

We love digital - Call
03332 207 677
and say hello - Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

Call 03332 207 677

Anna George

To Bid or Not to Bid – The Trademark Keyword Question

4th Apr 2011 News, Industry News, Paid Search 1 minute to read

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:

  • Trademark terms in ad copy – as mentioned above, this is a big no no from both Google and Microsoft
  • Ad display URLs – Google will not consider trademark complaints against display URLs, however Microsoft will
  • Dynamic keyword insertion – if you are using keyword insertion in your ad copy then be wary of what users may see. Google will simply use the default text you have included in your keyword insertion if a trademarked term would show. Microsoft on the other hand will remove the keyword and take it offline if a trademark complaint is received
  • Complaints process – Google allows advertisers to file trademark complaints which are relevant to all ads and allow authorisation of advertisers who can use the trademarked term in their ads. Microsoft however will only allow complaints to be made on specific ads that infringe trademarks.

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

Share this post

1 Comment

What do you think?

  • aspect-ratio
    Dan Rice

    What Does Content Marketing Mean?

    The term “content marketing” is frequently thrown around by marketers, influencers and business owners, but what does it actually mean? Let’s kick off with a quick definition before we take a closer look at this concept.

    (more…)

    Dan Rice
    @thedangrice
    18th Jul 2018
    Content Marketing
  • aspect-ratio Evergreen-content-blog-image
    Dan Rice

    Why Do I Need Evergreen Content?

    Making your content go viral is considered nigh on impossible to plan for, and more often than not, timing and luck are the most crucial elements in the success of viral content. In fact, you are far more likely to be successful if you target consistent and predictable success over time. (more…)

    Dan Rice
    @thedangrice
    2nd Jul 2018
    Content Marketing

Digital Ideas Monthly

Sign up now and get our free monthly email. It’s filled with our favourite pieces of the news from the industry, SEO, PPC, Social Media and more. And, don’t forget - it’s free, so why haven’t you signed up already?
  • We’ve got some really cool stuff we want to share with you. So you don’t miss out, let us know which of the following you want us to email you about going forward:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.