Google announced some updates to its AdWords trademark policy. Beginning on April 23, AdWords keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark investigation will no longer be restricted in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil.
"While we will not prevent the use of trademarks as keywords in the affected regions, trademark owners will still be able to complain about the use of their trademark in ad text," Google says, adding, "Google's goal is to provide our users with the most relevant information, whether from search results or advertisements, and we believe users benefit from having more choice. Our policy aims to balance the interests of users, advertisers and trademark owners, so we will continue to investigate trademark complaints concerning use of trademarks in ad text. In addition, this change means that the AdWords policy on trademarks as keywords is now harmonised throughout the world. A consistent policy and user experience worldwide benefits users, advertisers and trademark owners alike."
Google won't prevent advertisers from selecting a third party's trademark as a keyword in ads targeting the specified regions. The policy change does not impact the usage of trademarks in ad text. Google will continue to restrict use of trademarks in ad text for those in the affected regions that have already filed existing complaints about keywords and ad text.
Keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark investigation may start triggering ads in the affected regions. If you don't want this to happen, you can remove the keywords from the campaigns or add them as negative keywords.
You can read the FAQ here.
The changes bring Google's policy in the affected regions in line with its policy in the rest of the world.