Raising Trademark Concerns about Sponsored Search™ Listings
Advertisers sometimes bid on search terms that are the trade marks of others. For bids on search terms in Yahoo! Search Marketing's Sponsored Search service, Overture Services Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 105 514 958), trading as "Yahoo! Search Marketing", requires advertisers to agree that their search terms, their listing titles and descriptions, and the content of their Web sites do not violate the trade mark rights of others. In cases in which an advertiser has bid on a term that may be the trade mark of another, Yahoo! Search Marketing allows the bids only if the advertiser presents content on its Web site that (a) refers to the trade mark or its owner or related product in a permissible nominative manner without creating a likelihood of consumer confusion (for example, comparative advertising, sale of a product bearing the trade mark, or commentary, criticism or other permissible information about the trade mark owner or its product) or (b) uses the term in a generic or merely descriptive manner. In addition, the advertiser's listing should disclose the nature of the relevant content.
As applied to nominative uses of another's trade mark, Yahoo! Search Marketing requires advertisers to meet one of the following three conditions:
- Reseller: The advertiser's site must sell (or clearly facilitate the sale of) the product or service bearing the trade mark. The advertiser's title and description must disclose that the consumer will be able to purchase the product or service. The advertiser's title and description should not be written in a way that creates the impression that the advertiser is an authorised reseller unless the trade mark owner has in fact designated the advertiser as an authorised reseller.
- Information Site, Not Competitive: The primary purpose of the advertiser's site is to provide substantial information (for example, product reviews or comparisons, commentary, or news information) about the trade mark owner or products or services bearing the trade mark, AND the advertiser's site does not sell or promote a product or service that competes with the trade mark owner's products or services. The advertiser's title and description must disclose the nature of the qualifying substantial information that the consumer will find on the advertiser's site.
- Competitive Comparison Site: The advertiser's site offers detailed comparative information about the trade mark owner's products or services in comparison to the competitive products and services offered or promoted on the advertiser's site, it clearly identifies on the landing page the competitive products offered on the site, AND ALL of the following are true:
- The comparative information is detailed, spanning multiple dimensions (for example, price, features, ingredients, third-party rankings, ratings or awards, etc.) and clearly helps consumers to make an informed decision about the product or service, AND
- The listing title includes the word "Compare" and makes clear to the consumer that the listing comes from the advertiser, not the trade mark owner, for example, by saying "Compare Us to [Trade mark Term]" or "Compare Our Prices To [Trade mark Owner]'s", AND
- The advertiser's listing title and description identify the advertiser and disclose the nature of the qualifying comparative content the consumer will find on the advertiser's site.
If you have a concern that a search term associated with an advertiser's listing is an improper use of a term that is a trade mark, Yahoo! Search Marketing will review the advertiser's listing for compliance with our relevancy guidelines and, if appropriate, Yahoo! Search Marketing will remove the advertiser's listing or the content of the listing's title or description will be modified. In order to assist Yahoo! Search Marketing in expeditiously addressing your concern, please provide the following information:
- The search term which, when entered, caused the advertiser's listing to appear.
- The trademark on which your claim is based.
- If you own a current registration for the trade mark on the Register in the Australian Trade Marks Office, the registration number.
- If you have evidence of any consumer confusion resulting from the advertiser's bid on the search term, a description of such evidence.
- If you have contacted the advertiser about your concerns, the status of your communications with the advertiser.
Please forward this information to Yahoo! Search Marketing at the following email address: email@example.com. You may also mail your concerns to:
Yahoo! Search Marketing
Attn: Business & Legal Affairs
Pier 8/9, 23 Hickson Road
Millers Point NSW 2000
Fax: +61 (0)2 8288 4777