Google Liberalizes Its European Trademark Policy

6 08 2010

By Eric Goldman

After the ECJ’s favorable opinion in the Google cases, I’ve been wondering if Google would liberalize its trademark policy in Europe. It took Google 4 months to parse the ECJ’s inscrutable opinion and make a call, but it finally decided that the opinion was favorable enough to support liberalization.

After the changed European policy (starting Sept. 14), Google will have a virtually uniform world-wide policy not to block bids on trademarked keywords at the trademark owner’s request. Google will block trademark references in ad copy at the trademark owner’s request, but this will be subject to regional differences. In the US and (starting Sept. 14) UK, Ireland and Canada, Google will not block TM references in ad copy for resellers, complementary product sellers and information sites. In the EU and some related countries (EFTA), Google’s new policy will be to review ads on an ad-by-ad basis as follows:


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