In our ongoing attempts to get a straight answer from Google regarding their monitoring of trademarks being used without authorization, our interactive team came across a procedure for filing complaints that also serves as a registration portal for trademarks. Simply put, by registering our trademarks with Google they too will assume some responsibility for monitoring for unauthorized trademark use in their ad copy. This type of use rarely happens, but kudos to Google anyway for recognizing the need for enforcement when it does occur. Unfortunately, the policy does not apply to “keywords” and search terms purchased through AdWords…but we’re hopeful that too will come in the near future. Until then, we’re left on our own to search, identify and reach out to infringers. Google’s policy states they will not monitor keywords because they feel trademark use in that form is beneficial to consumers, even though they claim “we take trademarks seriously.” It’s kind of a “whatever” type of response.
In the meantime, we have taken steps to register all our client name trademarks, as well as several of the cj campaign trademarks, like the “No Fee Guarantee”. If a competitor is caught using your trademark in their ad copy, I will be notified by Google that a potential infringement has occurred. Once alerted, we’ll investigate and report our findings back to you and take appropriate action as directed. If we helped you secure your trademark, you’re already registered. If we did not, you can access the complaint form at this address https://services.google.com/inquiry/aw_tmcomplaint. While I don’t believe “we take trademarks seriously” is a rallying cry for Google’s intellectual property strategy, but at least its movement in the right direction.