The truth is no trademark owner can control the search results of most search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. You might find slight variations to the exact trademark rules by search engine or country, however as a common trait the previous assertion holds true. For example with Google you might be able to restrict the usage of your trademark inside the verbiage of a paid ad. However you can’t restrict anyone from appearing under your trademark in both organic search results or paid ads. Many trademark owners fail to recognize this reality. Try it now. Goto www.google.com and perform a dozen searches on trademarks that come to your mind. Chances are you will see many ads and search results that are not owned by the TM holder. In short, you do NOT control search results of any kind on search engines.
As a TM owner where does this leave you? For one you want to try to control the most you can in the results that appear under terms containing your trademarks. For organic search results you need to hire the expertise to make sure your site appears first. This should not be very difficult but will require some degree of expertise. More >
Most affiliate programs have trademark (TM) bidding rules. The intention of these rules is to guide the affiliate in what is permitted and what is denied. However, like the contrast of seeing a Cro-Magnon enjoying music from his iPod in a Jacuzzi, in many cases these rules use verbiage that appears to predate the internet age and the reality of today’s search engine marketing (SEM) world. (more…)