Microsoft adCenter Updates Trademark Policy

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Microsoft adCenter Updates Trademark Policy

Microsoft adCenter is changing the way they manage their trademark policy starting September 10, 2007. While no change will be made to the trademark policy itself, this update aligns adCenter better with marketplace practices, speeds up editorial review to get ads live faster, and ensures consumers see relevant ads.

Microsoft adCenter’s Trademark Policy

Advertisers may still use trademarked terms in their ads when they are the owner of the trademark, 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.

What’s Changing?

  • Infringing use of trademark terms by direct competitors remains a violation of Microsoft adCenter policies.
  • However, it will now be 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.
  • Microsoft adCenter will no longer intercede to obtain permission for the advertiser wanting to use a trademarked term.

For trademark owners this means that their ads may display next to other ads that contain their trademarked terms, affiliates, resellers, and third parties may show up against queries for their trademarked terms and competitors’ ads may show up in search results against queries for trademarks in certain scenarios, due to broad keyword matching.