Johannesburg, 30 Jun 2023
Effective 24 July 2023, Google will begin rolling out changes to its Google Ads Trade Mark Policy. The updated policy will include, among other things, a change in how Google enforces brand owners' rights when their trade marks are used by third parties in Google Ads. This will result in trade mark owners bearing more of a burden in protecting their trade marks.
A complaint must now be filed against each advertiser and/or advertisement as Google will no longer permit complaints to be filed against all advertisers and/or advertisements in the industry. This will have cost implications for trade mark owners.
Google will also, over the next 12-18 months, phase out its policing and enforcement of complaints, thus requiring brand owners who have previously filed successful complaints to monitor and submit new complaints for every new Google advertisement they believe violates its trade mark rights.
Given these changes, companies will have to amend their Intellectual Property Policies to ensure that they monitor and report advertisements that violate the Google Ads Trade Mark Policy.