Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Trademarks on Microsoft adCenter

Microsoft have been notifying users of their adCenter PPC tool of changes to their trademark policy which comes into effect this month. As a result, advertisers may still use trademarked terms in their campaigns if they are the owner, an affiliate or reseller of trademarked products or services, or a site that 'uses the trademarked term in an informational, descriptive, or non-competitive manner'.

The change in policy is that it is now the advertiser's responsibility to obtain permission from the trademark owner to use a trademarked term in their ads. It will also be the trademark owner's responsibility to address ongoing incorrect usage of their trademark term/s directly with third-party advertisers. So Microsoft adCenter is basically 'passing the buck' and saying that they will no longer intercede to obtain permission for the advertiser wanting to use a trademarked term.

This brings them more into line with the policies on Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing and extracts them from any time-consuming disputes, so that they just become the arbiter of any infringements. As before, such infringing use of trademark terms by direct competitors remains a violation of Microsoft adCenter policies and if advertisers have a concern about misuse they can still notify Microsoft using this form.

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