If you think a competitor is using your trademark in their ad copy, you can check Google's Ads Trademark policy to confirm. Ad text cannot contain trademarks, but they can be used in the display URL. However, the policy can be confusing. Take your time to read it carefully. Remember, Google's policy is not the same as trademark law. If you think the ad infringes on Google's policies, follow the steps outlined below. We will explain how to manually submit an claim for review by Google and how to report trademark infringements using a paid search monitoring tool.
It is important to note that submitting a trademark complaint does not guarantee that the ad will be removed. Google will only remove ads that violate their policies, and they will not take action if they believe the ad is not infringing on your trademark.
Before submitting a trademark complaint, you must first locate the ad and confirm that you have a registered trademark in the country where the ad is being displayed. To do this, you can search for the ad manually or use a paid search monitoring tool to track advertisements for you. Once you have found the ad, you can proceed with submitting a trademark complaint with confidence.
In addition to submitting a trademark complaint, there are other steps you can take to protect your trademark. For example, you can monitor your competitors' ads regularly to ensure they are not infringing on your trademark. You can also consider registering your trademark in additional countries to ensure maximum protection.
Quick instructions on reporting Trademark Infringement
If you are totally sure that someone has committed a trademark infringement against your business, you can report that infringement to Google. Google takes trademark infringement seriously and has a process in place for reporting such violations. Here's how you can report trademark infringement to Google:
Before reporting any trademark infringement, make sure that the use of the trademark is actually infringing on your rights. Check if the use of the trademark is likely to cause confusion among consumers, dilute your trademark or damage your brand in any way.
2. Gather Evidence:
Collect evidence that supports your claim of trademark infringement. This may include screenshots of the infringing content, links to the websites where the infringement is taking place, and any other relevant information.
3. Contact the Infringer:
If possible, try to contact the infringing party directly and ask them to remove the infringing content. You can also send a cease-and-desist letter to the infringer, asking them to stop using your trademark.
4. File a Complaint to Google:
If the infringing party does not respond to your request or refuses to remove the infringing content, you can file a complaint to Google. To do so, visit the Google Complaint Center and select "Trademark Infringement" as the type of complaint you want to file.
5. Complete the Complaint Form:
Fill out the complaint form with all relevant information, including your contact information, the trademark that has been infringed, and the evidence you have collected. Be as specific and detailed as possible.
6. Submit the Complaint:
Once you have completed the complaint form, submit it to Google. Google will review your complaint and take appropriate action if it determines that trademark infringement has occurred.
Reporting trademark infringement to Google is a straightforward process that involves identifying the infringement, gathering evidence, contacting the infringer, and filing a complaint with Google. By using this quick instruction and learning more about Trademark Infringement reports below, you can protect your valuable trademarks and prevent others from using them without your permission.
Identifying the Trademark Infringement
As a digital marketer, it is crucial to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for potential trademark infringements. The use of trademarks in online advertising is a common practice, and it is important to make sure that your competitors are not using your trademark in a way that violates your rights.
It is not uncommon to come across instances where competitors are using your trademark in their display URL, or mentioning your trademark in the description of their advertisement. While the use of trademarks in the display URL is allowed by Google, using them in the ad description is not. It is important to be aware of these guidelines, and to take the necessary steps to ensure that your competitors are adhering to them.
If you have an affiliate or referral program, it is necessary to conduct searches to ensure that your partners are following your terms and conditions. Monitoring your competitors' ads regularly can also help you identify potential trademark infringements and take action if necessary.
However, detecting trademark infringements in the wild can be a daunting task, as advertisers employ a number of evasive tactics to remain undetected and keep a low profile. This is why it is important to be diligent in your efforts to protect your trademarks, and to take action if you do come across any instances of infringement.
Submitting a Trademark Infringement report to Google
If you have found an advertisement that you believe infringes on your trademark, don't worry - there are steps you can take to address the issue. First, you can submit a trademark complaint to Google through their submission form. The form will ask for your company's information as well as the trademark owner's information (if it's not you).
Once you have provided this information, you will be asked to provide details about your trademark registration, if applicable. If you do not have a registered trademark but have usage rights, you can indicate this in the form.
Next, you will provide details about the infringing ad that you are reporting. This includes selecting the scope of the infringement and identifying any authorized advertisers using your branded terms. It is important to include all necessary information about the ad for which you are submitting a complaint.
But you may be thinking, "What is the difference between submitting a complaint against specific advertisers versus submitting a complaint against all advertisers?" This is a good question to consider. By submitting a complaint against specific advertisers, Google will review all ads included in each submission and remove those that violate the Google Ads Trademark Policy. However, submitting a complaint against all advertisers allows Google to restrict non-authorized use of the trademark in a way that violates their Trademark Policy. This applies to non-authorized advertisers that are located in the same country and work in the same industry.
When you submit a complaint against all advertisers to Google, they will undoubtedly limit unauthorized use of your trademark in violation of their Trademark Policy. This limitation applies without exception to any unauthorized advertisers operating in the same country and industry where your trademark is registered.
Submitting a comprehensive complaint against "all advertisers" is the most effective approach to prevent any unauthorized use of your trademark. However, there are some potential downsides to this broad approach that you should keep in mind:
- If you fail to submit a complete list of your authorized advertisers, including their Google Ads customer IDs, Google may unfortunately remove advertisements from valued partners who are legally using your trademark. This list of authorized advertisers must include any advertisers operating in all countries where you submit complaints.
- In addition to the Google Ads IDs of your authorized partners, you will also need to include your own Google Ads ID, otherwise Google will not display your own ads.
- Despite submitting a complaint against "all advertisers," some unauthorized use of your trademark by unauthorized advertisers may still "slip through the cracks."
To summarize, while submitting a complaint against all advertisers is the best way to prevent most unauthorized use of your trademark, you must take care to specify any authorized advertisers to avoid issues. You should also be aware that this approach may not catch every single unauthorized advertiser. By understanding these potential drawbacks, you can take the necessary steps to maximize the effectiveness of your complaint while minimizing unwanted impacts on your partners' advertising.
We suggest limiting your complaint against unauthorized advertisers to only specific advertisers if you are unable to provide Google Ads with a comprehensive list of authorized customer IDs across all countries where you are filing complaints. Targeting only select advertisers helps avoid inadvertently removing ads from authorized advertisers that you do work with.
Submitting a complaint against “all advertisers” is recommended if you can provide Google Ads with a full list of authorized customer IDs in all relevant countries. Your trademark will then receive enhanced protection from unauthorized use. However, it is important to regularly update your list as you begin and end partnerships with advertisers.
On the final page of Google's complaint form, you have the option to add clarifying details. Be sure to select the required checkboxes before submitting the form.
Carefully review all information on the final page. Enter the captcha, and then click “Submit” to file your complaint.
While Google's trademark violation form is straightforward, submitting a complaint for each violation requires completing all 4 pages of the form.
What will happen after submitting a Trademark Infringement report?
Once you submit a trademark infringement complaint to Google, you should anticipate a prompt and effective resolution to your issue within a period of approximately 1 to 8 weeks.
Google thoroughly examines all trademark complaints in order to uphold their strict trademark policies, which have been developed by their team of legal experts to the highest and most stringent standards.
After completing a comprehensive review of your complaint, Google will notify you that they have taken the appropriate actions to address any ads found to be in violation of their trademark policies. In the unlikely scenario that Google is unable to resolve your complaint by removing the ads in question, they will provide you with a detailed explanation for their decision along with references to the specific policies that informed said decision.
Submitting a few trademark complaints to Google each month is easily manageable given their efficient review process. Whereas reviewing and removing a high volume of potentially infringing ads can prove challenging for some search engines, Google has both the resources and technical capabilities to efficiently process large numbers of ads for review and removal as needed.
Adding extra protection for your brand
If you want to b confident in the quality and integrity of your promotional and marketing efforts, we highly recommend choosing a reliable paid search compliance provider. And BluePear would be your best possible choice.
We have developed a sophisticated, cutting-edge marketing compliance software, designed and tuned to detect and counter all the malicious techniques commonly used for brand-bidding, ad hijacking, trademark abuse, and other types of unethical affiliate behavior that violates the terms of most affiliate programs.
Once our advanced fraud-detection scanning algorithms have analyzed advertisements that target your branded keywords and abuse your trademark, you will gain full visibility into how your affiliates are operating across the board:
- Which links, landing pages, and other digital assets they are utilizing
- What kind of ads and marketing content they are actively displaying
- Our proprietary "decloaking" feature is designed to allow you to reach and analyze any disguised landing pages from within our system
- Precisely where and when they are choosing to display your ads and promotions
- And most critically, you will know whether their work meets your standards and expectations.
Our diverse array of clients, ranging from small startups to huge companies, utilize our services to ensure their affiliate programs are working as intended while also cutting ties with any problematic partners. We have successfully helped many companies to save significant shares of their marketing budget and resources by increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
If you want to take control of your affiliate marketing efforts and maximize your ROI, please contact us today for a free demo and consultation. Our team of experts is here to help you 24/7.