Transfer Pricing Associates

Does Google AdWords’ Policy Facilitate Trademark Infringement?

post Wednesday November 14, 2012

advertising, free digital photos

Google’s AdWords policy has caught some commentators’ attention on the subject of trademark infringement. Google AdWords allows advertisers to promote their offerings on the web on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. Anyone can create online ads by specifying the keywords for Google search. The advertisement will appear when the keyword is searched. Controversy arises when advertisers use a competitor’s trademark as a key word to generate search results for their own business.

According to, Google’s AdWords policy primarily put burden on the trademark owner, as it states on the supportwebsite “… these policies apply only to trademarked terms where the owner submitted a valid complaint to Google and requested that the terms be restricted in Google ad campaigns.”

According to Forbes, Google makes billions of dollars a year selling AdWords ads triggered by third party trademarks. Trademark owners have brought up 20 lawsuits against Google, but none prevailed. The plaintiffs normally give up the claims, because “Google will spend whatever it takes to defend its cash cow—far more than it’s worth to any individual trademark owner.”

Source: IP Value Site, Forbes, Google

Image Source: Free Digital Photos

Looking for more great content? Subscribe to our RSS feed to get articles as soon as they are posted.


Leave your comment


Comments on 'Does Google AdWords’ Policy Facilitate Trademark Infringement?' (0)