How can I defend my trademark on Google?

What to do if a competitor starts using your brand name for their ad campaigns

A competitor of mine has recently started bidding much higher than me for my company name on Google Adwords. I can’t afford to up my PPC budget but in light of the recent challenges from Interflora over other florists bidding on its company name, is there anything I can do?

Mark Kingsley-Williams writes:

Yes, you can complain to Google and submit a general trademark dispute form. Do this as soon as possible. This should stop your company name ever being used in another company’s Google Ads, and lower their ads relevancy making it harder for them to get a high ranking. You will need to be an existing Google Adwords customer and, most importantly, you will need to own a registered trademark for your company name. The form is completed and submitted online and can be found here

Make sure that you have the following things to hand when you are filling in the form:

  • Trademark Registration Number: You will need your trademark registration or application number, which is usually in a numerical format of 1,234,567. NB. Your application will be rejected if you are not listed as the actual owner or registrant of the trademark. So, if you’re doing this for a friend or boss, Google will demand that they re-submit the form themselves.
  • Google Adwords ID Number: You will also need your Google AdWords customer ID number, which is a 10-digit number located on the upper right hand side of the screen when you log into AdWords.

Tips on filling in the form:

  • Make sure you tick the question: “Your complaint involves all advertisers.” This will ensure that nobody can ever use your company name in their ads.
  • Authorised entities: Make sure you list those companies who are permitted to use your company name in their AdWords. They might be affiliates, subsidiaries etc. If they’re not on the list, they won’t be allowed to!

Once you have submitted the general trademark dispute form, it will be impossible for anyone to ever submit an ad with your company’s name in the link or text portions. However, I should add, that they will still be able to bid on your company name as a keyword. I am looking forward to that particular battle with Google!


Mark Kingsley-Williams is director of online trade mark registration company, Trade Mark Direct

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