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Trademark Infringement in Keyword Advertising on Yahoo and Google

Protecting brands in cyberspace is always a challenge. One hot area is the subject of “keyword infringement” when third parties use trademarks that they do not own as keyword triggers or in ad copy for ads placed on Google, Yahoo and MSN. These are always specific questions of fact. When someone uses a third-party trademark with the specific intent of causing confusion as to the source and origin of products, that use likely qualifies as trademark infringement. However, there are many cases of gray areas in the field of keyword violation.

Here is Yahoo’s response to a keyword violation complaint, including a link to their policy on keyword violation:

“Thank you for your correspondence. This email will serve as our response. You will not receive any further notifications from us.

yahoo! Search Marketing does not endorse or condone websites that infringe trademarks. However, we generally have no control over the content presented by advertisers who list their websites in our search engine. yahoo! Search Marketing requires each website to be relevant according to our guidelines. In short, we allow advertisers to bid on a search term that may be the trademark of another party, as long as their ad meets one of the following conditions:

1. Reseller: The advertiser’s site must sell (or clearly facilitate the sale of) the trademarked product or service (for example, an online shoe store selling Nike shoes on its landing page might bid on the search term ). Nike”).

2. Information Site, Non-Competitive: The primary purpose of the Advertiser’s Site is to provide material information about the owner of the trademark or the products or services bearing the trademark, AND the Advertiser’s Site does not sell or endorse a product or service that competes with the registered trademark. the owner’s products or services (for example, a site that provides product reviews may bid on the brand names of the products being reviewed, and a site that provides news information about a business may bid on the name of the business as a search term).

3. Generic (non-trademark related) use: The advertiser uses the term in a generic or merely descriptive manner unrelated to the trademark owner’s goods or services (for example, we would allow an advertiser selling apples to bid on the search term “apple”, while an advertiser in the computer software/hardware industry bidding on the term “apple” should have relevant content related to the Apple Computer, Inc. brand of computer products and comply with our policy outlined previously).

While we are not in a position to arbitrate trademark or other intellectual property disputes between third parties, if a trademark owner brings to our attention a website that they believe does not contain relevant content, we will review the website to verify that meets our guidelines. Therefore, we will review the search results returned through Yahoo! Search Marketing search services on the search terms in question and the corresponding websites, and will take appropriate action.

Please note that Yahoo! Search Marketing does not remove keywords from an ad’s title or description in response to a trademark claim. Rather, if an ad violates our trademark policy, Yahoo! Search Marketing will remove the non-compliant ad. If an ad complies with our trademark policy, it will be preserved and no changes will be made.

Also, please note that the advertiser may resubmit any ads that are removed as a result of our review and include them in our search results, if changes are made to the title or description of the ads, or the content of the website. . , so that the ads comply with our guidelines.

If you are going to complain to Google, this is the type of response you will receive:

“As a provider of ad space, please note that Google is not in a position to arbitrate trademark disputes between advertisers and trademark owners. As stated in our Terms and Conditions, advertisers themselves are responsible for the words key and content of the ads they use choose the trademark you want to use Accordingly, we encourage owners to resolve disputes directly with advertisers, particularly as advertisers may have similar ads on other sites.

However, as a courtesy to trademark owners, we are willing to conduct a limited investigation of reasonable complaints.

Please note: The following procedure applies only to the use of terms that may be trademarked in advertisements, which are clearly marked as sponsored links on our results pages. We do not take action on objections to the use of trademarks on sites that appear in our search results, that is, the left side of a results page. For such objections, please contact the site owner directly.

Trademark Policies

See below if you are concerned about:

* Advertisers using your trademark in AdWords advertising.

o Trademark Complaint Procedure Page

* Authorize a third-party advertiser to use your trademark in AdWords ads.
Please note that we will only authorize accounts to use terms for which we have received trademark complaints.

o Trademark Authorization Process”

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