Google has modified its advertising policy that allows companies to use registered trademarks in their advertisements, regardless of whether they own them or not.
This has already been in effect in several nations across the globe, but the company will now be extending this policy worldwide.
Starting from April 23rd 2013, keywords that used to be restricted as a result of trademark investigations will no longer be stopped in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil.
This will enable advertisers to use the trademarks of third parties as keywords without any repercussions from the search engine giant.
Google said it is making the changes in order to provide its users with the most relevant information in both its search results and advertisements.
“Our policy aims to balance the interests of users, advertisers, and trademark owners, so we will continue to investigate trademark complaints concerning use of trademarks in ad text. In addition, this change means that the AdWords policy on trademarks as keywords is now harmonized throughout the world,” the company said in a trademark policy update.
It believes a consistent worldwide policy and user experience will benefit users, advertisers and trademark owners.
Google’s in-ad trademark policy was first introduced in 2008, at which point it was only possible to use trademark keywords with the owner’s permission. The policy was changed in 2010 after the firm won a case in the European Court where it was decided it had not abused the trademarks of others by allowing advertisers to use the Louis Vuitton name in adverts that had very little association with the brand.
This is mainly useful to retailers that sell some trademarked products – they may now freely use these trademarks in AdWords adverts.
As a result, Google will not investigate or restrict the use of any trademark terms in keywords, even if a complaint is received. However it does advise its clients to seek legal advice before using third parties’ trademarks.