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Google Trademark policy compliance for Digital Marketers

Why registering trademark with search engines important for businesses?

Fig 1: Trademark compliance for digital marketers

Conventionally, Trademarks provide product distinction and more importantly protect brands from infringement. However, with rapid penetration of digital advertisements there has been a numerous global instances of misusing brand authority. For instance, sale of counterfeits under the disguise of renowned brands has been prevalent in the last decade due to supply chain issues and ample avenues for online sales. Besides brand reputation and customer loyalty, businesses eventually experience a plunge in the bottom-line, when marketers give leeway to unauthorized resellers. As a result, it is paramount for brands to deal proactively this subject to ensure online brand authority. In this context, we are providing few important steps for brands (of decent size) to ensure compliance with search engine terms. (Google and search engine were interchangeably referred in the blog)

What is a Trademark violation in SEM?

Although, all major search engines acknowledge the importance of Trademarks, the onus of content in the Adtext and URL is largely transferred to the Advertisers. Moreover, as a policy the search engines considers a complaint of violation (allegation) from lawful contact of the Brand (brand owner, attorney, HQ contact, Nominee etc.,) and then conducts its own investigation or sometimes doesn’t either. Hence, the trigger for enforcing a violation starts when a trademark owner submits a valid trademark complaint to Google. Also, Search engine considers the following scenarios as potential Trademark violations

(I) When there is a manipulation of competition in the advertisements
(II) When users are required to provide enormous information before accessing merchandise
(III) Unclear information in the landing site 

Fig 2: Trademark policy in Google Ads

How to lodge a Trademark violation complaint?

As indicated earlier, Google doesn’t start investigating violations until unless there is a complaint registered regarding the unauthorised usage. As a concerned brand owner, a complaint can be lodged directly with the advertiser along with Search Engines. For google, the brand owner or its authorized personnel can submit a form here by providing contact details and trademark information. Upon few clarifications and continued investigation, Google would communicate the review result of the compliant to the brand owner. Subsequently, the unauthorized resellers would experience a prompt in the Adtext on the possible violation of Trademark Policy 

What are the aspects that Google doesn’t investigate in a Trademark complaint?

Search engine marketing forms a major revenue source for Google and its mammoth user base makes this tech giant an undisputed leader in this space.  Although, there is a lot of transparency demonstrated on the platform for advertisers, few areas remain proprietary. That said, even this was the case in traditional mediums like classifieds, Radio and Television. On the flip-side, Digital channels helped emerging businesses to advertise in marketplaces, which was a far dream in conventional medium. Considering its business model following are the areas where Google doesn’t investigate Trademark complaint 

(I) Trademarks as Keywords 
(II) Trademark in the Display URL of lading site 
(III) Trademarks in Google search results

How to Authorize resellers in using Trademark for digital advertisements?

First and foremost, identifying the brand presence online is a critical factor when working towards the solution as this gives a fair idea of potential source of Trademark violations. Since resellers could be a retailer, it is a wise idea to register them with search engine marketing. For authorizing resellers in google check this  authorization form  and provide information related to Contacts, Trademark(s) and Entities (advertisers/ resellers). This would help the bot to update the algorithm related to the brand authority and help the brand owners on two fronts (1) eliminate the unauthorized usage of trademark in Headlines (of a campaign) (2) encourages the authorized sellers to campaign seamlessly

In summary, since Google refrains from investigating the areas like Keywords, URLs and search results it is essential for marketers to be vigilant of resellers misusing the trademarks. Having said that, in this era of marketing, healthy affiliations, Ad network group plays a prominent role for building organic traffic to the digital shop and subsequently to final conversion. Hence, it is very imperative that business owners should timely review the adverts online for protecting their business interests

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(All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site)

Image Courtesy: Postermywall 


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