Google to Allow 3rd Party Trademarks in AdWords Worldwide

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Google is changing its policy on the use of trademarks used on AdWords, allowing advertisers to use rivals' trademarks in their ads worldwide.

The policy revision, announced on Google's blog, no longer prevents advertisers from selecting a third party’s trademark as a keyword in ads targeting eight regions. But trademark owners still will be able to complain about the use of their trademark in ad text.

"Starting April 23, keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark investigation will no longer be restricted in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Brazil," Google said.

Google explained that its goal is to provide users "with the most relevant information, whether from search results or advertisements, and we believe users benefit from having more choice. 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.

"This change means that the AdWords policy on trademarks as keywords is now harmonized throughout the world," Google said. "A consistent policy and user experience worldwide benefits users, advertisers, and trademark owners alike."