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Our domain name in competitors Adwords title

 9:17 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've just become aware of a competitor having our domain name in their ad title when our domain name is put into the search without the .com

e.g. : Ourwebsite.com - Great Deals

Just to clarify, it's not the business name that appears, but it is the business' full domain name.

We don't use Adwords. How do we fix this urgently with Google?



 10:26 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Might be difficult. Google allows trademarks in Adwords these days [searchengineland.com...] and filing a DCMA doesn't seem to fit. Could a domain name be considered a trademark? Just asking. I don't know.

As always, in legal issues, we are NOT lawyers and can't give advice. If this is a real problem I can recommend you contact an attorney for any remedies available.


 10:38 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)


Same thing has just happened to me:

[webmasterworld.com ]

If you are in the US and you have your domain name trademarked I think you have a chance of getting the ad removed.

I filled in the form here [adwords.google.com].

It is worth seeing whether the ad breaches any adwords guidelines and adding details of those to the report. My competitor made an (unsubstantiated) claim about being voted the best site in the uk in his ad copy. So he might get dinged for that even if he gets away with using my domain name.


 11:45 am on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks , I filed a report to Google , so we'll see what happens.

It's one thing to represent a product brand name via a reseller, but to switch sell off of a domain name, including the TLD, i would think is beneath the belt of the law.

Trademark law isn't very good with regards to domains , so a lawyer "told" me, unless someone can provide a link to case examples to the contrary.


 4:39 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Trademark or no trademark, it should be challenged for misleading users about where they'll go if they click the ad.


 5:01 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've seen Google AdWords suspend an ad campaign because it used a registered trademark of another party (and presumably that party complained).

Regarding domain names, I agree that your competitor's practice is very sleazy. Google may well agree too, even if it's not a trademark issue, so I'd suggest filing a complaint.

Just in terms of trademark and domain name background information, however, the USPTO's Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) states, "A mark comprised of an Internet domain name is registrable as a trademark or service mark only if it functions as an identifier of the source of goods or services." [tess2.uspto.gov...] Generally, adding the URI protocol or TLD to an otherwise unregistrable mark adds "no source-identifying significance" and so is not registrable. IANAL.


 8:31 pm on Apr 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Trademark or no trademark, it should be challenged for misleading users about where they'll go if they click the ad.

I believe current form is to say "+1"

Just to broaden the debate slightly it seems to be quite ambiguous about what you can and can't trademark.

Here in the UK the guidelines are as follows [ipo.gov.uk ]

And they use Superdrug (a store that sells pharmaceuticals) as an example trademark.

Yet in the paragraph below they state:

We will not accept marks which:

describe your goods or services or any characteristics of them, for example, marks which show the quality, quantity, purpose, value or geographical origin of your goods or services;

So Superdrug don't sell super drugs then ?

Quite a few years ago I asked a lawyer about trademarking my domain name, which is actually quite similar to "superdrug", and I was advised that I wouldn't be able to because of the above clause.

In view of recent events I have today bitten the bullet and applied for the trademark (Not cheap I am now 200 GBP poorer). I will let you know how I get on.

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