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

Microsoft adCenter's Trademark Policy
As stated above, we are not changing the trademark policy itself. You may still use trademarked terms in your ads when you, as the advertiser, 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. Infringing use of trademark terms by direct competitors remains a violation of Microsoft adCenter policies.

What's changing?
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.

What does this mean for my search advertising?
Your ads may display next to other ads that contain your trademarked terms.
Affiliates, resellers, and third parties may show up against queries for your trademarked terms.
Competitor's ads may show up in search results against queries for trademarks in certain scenarios, due to match types other than exact.
For example, if a generic term is included in the overall search query, advertisers who bid on the generic term may show up in the search results.
If you are a trademark owner and you believe your trademark is being misused in Microsoft adCenter, you can submit a report by following the instructions on our Trademark Concern Form.

Visit our adCenter Blog post to read more about this change and if you have additional questions about these changes please contact our adCenter Support Team.


The Microsoft adCenter Team