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Using Competitor's Names in Google Adwords

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Google Adwords is a marketing/research tool using the Google search engine. Businesses can nominate a search keyword, and when a person puts that keyword into Google, a sponsored advertisement for their business will appear.

Some businesses have used competitor’s names, products and slogans as keywords in Google Adwords. The legal position on this is yet to be determined, In the meantime you should be careful when using Google Adwords.

Tips to Protect your Business:

  • Register your business name, product names, slogans and other keywords as trademarks. You can then bring a claim for trademark infringement if required and establish an ownership of the mark;
  • Register keywords on Google Adwords to ensure that your sponsored link appears when the keyword is searched;
  • Monitor the usage of your keywords on the Google search engine to see whether competitors are using your keywords and take immediate action if they do;
  • Conduct searches of the Trademarks register and other related searches to see if any other business in the same or similar industry has the term registered and whether your use of the term may cause confusion in the market place;
  • Don’t use a competitor’s name of keyword in the title or text of your sponsored advertising as this increases the risk of confusion;
  • Ensure your sponsored advertisement clearly identifies you and what you do.

For assistance protecting your intellectual property and brand, please contact us.

Current as at December 2006. 

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Jungle Management acts as legal counsel for high growth businesses in sales, marketing, advertising, media & technology.

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