Yahoo Limits Advertising With Competing Trademarks

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 9:27 am

Yahoo plans to stop allowing advertisers to buy ads against searches on their competitors’ trademarks. But Google continues the practice, and lawyers say it’s undetermined whether the ads are legal.

On Wednesday, Yahoo will no longer offer advertisers the option to bid on search keywords containing a competitor’s trademarked terms. Last week, the company notified its advertisers via E-mail that it planned on March 1st to modify its editorial guidelines regarding the use of trademarked keywords.

Yahoo Search Marketing requires that advertisers agree not to violate the trademark rights of others with their ads. To date, it has allowed advertisers to bid on a trademarked search term in three different circumstances: if they are resellers of the trademarked product advertised; if they operate an informational site that doesn’t compete with the trademark owner’s products or services; or if the “advertiser’s site offers detailed comparative information about the trademark owner’s products or services in comparison to the competitive products and services offered or promoted on the advertiser’s site.”

It is this last condition that Yahoo will no longer consider a valid excuse for using a trademarked keyword.

A spokesperson for Yahoo said via E-mail, “Yahoo! Search Marketing believes that this change in our policy enhances our ability to provide the best experience for users that search on trademark terms.”

Source: Information Week


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