Trademark Infringement: Can I Bid on My Competitors’ Trademarks as Adwords?

by Vincent Allen and PJ Putnam

With the use of search engines by consumers to find products and websites becoming more prominent, search engine optimization has become an important part of the marketing plan for large and small businesses alike. For those companies that do not want to take the time or put in the effort to improve their SEO for certain keywords organically, purchasing keywords, also known as Adwords, from Google or other search engines can put a website on the first page of search results for a particular keyword overnight. By “purchasing,” we mean the submission of the high bid for the use of a keyword or campaign for a specific time period and geographic location.

In most cases, an Adwords customer “purchases” a word or a series of words that are used to describe the services or goods to be advertised and/or sold on the customer’s website. Recently, Google created a “campaign” of words that can be purchased in any given industry. A purchaser can specify which areas of the country and at what times those Adwords would be purchased.  The scope of the geographic area and the times chosen determine the purchase price. Continue reading