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» Featured, MSN AdCenter, Paid Search in General, Yahoo Search » Big Changes Coming to Yahoo/Bing Trademark Policy

Big Changes Coming to Yahoo/Bing Trademark Policy


Mark your calendars on March 3rd, 2011 because there is a Trademark Policy change coming from Microsoft for the Bing/Yahoo platform. You don’t have the read all of the details, but in essence it screams “We need more market share and we can do this by allowing everyone to bid on each others Trademark search terms.” In retrospect, this is good for the Affiliate and Reseller Advertisers and not so much for the companies themselves. However, it does raise a few questions about how effective they will actually enforce these Trademark issues, especially since they are putting a majority of the responsibility back onto the advertiser. Seems like just another contribution to the “Wild West” of the PPC Industry. Let’s discuss the details.


Well, it appears that on March 3rd, Microsoft will stop any editorial investigations into complaints about trademarks used as keywords in the United States and Canada. They say that the reason for this is to “come in line with search industry practices” and the only way to fight a Trademark dispute is to have the trademark owner should contact the advertiser directly. If that fails, then the trademark owner can fill out the Intellectual Property Complaints Form and then Microsoft will start the investigation.


>> Click here to read the updated Microsoft Adcenter Intellectual Property Guidelines


Some important points:

  • Microsoft will investigate complaints relating to alleged trademark violations in ad text.
  • Microsoft will continue to allow fair use of trademarks in ad text.
  • Microsoft is not a mediator. Microsoft encourages trademark owners to engage directly with advertisers who they believe are misusing their trademarks.


Microsoft accepts the fair use of trademarks in ad text, such as:

  • Use of a trademark by a reseller of authentic goods or services
  • Informational websites about goods or services represented by the trademark, such as product reviews
  • Ordinary dictionary use of a term
  • Comparative advertising, when supported by independent research

Filed under: Featured, MSN AdCenter, Paid Search in General, Yahoo Search

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