Bing and Yahoo will allow advertisers to use trademarked terms in their PPC keywords starting next month, according to paidContent, suggesting they allowed Google to fight the legal battles before adding the option to their service.
Previously Yahoo and Microsoft were stricter about the use of trademarked terms. Companies could get any ads running on their trademarked terms pulled down by sending copies of their trademark approval. No longer will Microsoft review keyword complaints.
The policy, effective March 3, states:
Microsoft appreciates the importance of trademarks and takes allegations of trademark infringement seriously. Microsoft prohibits infringement of trademarks and other intellectual property by advertisers. Advertisers are responsible for ensuring that their ads do not violate the trademark or other intellectual property rights of others. If a trademark owner is concerned that its trademark is being used improperly in ad text on ads served by either Bing or Yahoo! Search, it should first contact the advertiser directly to address the issue. If dissatisfied with the outcome, it may also wish to contact Microsoft by completing the Intellectual Property Complaints Form, and select the option 'Trademark Misuse in Ad Copy'. Once provided with all required information, Microsoft will investigate the alleged infringement and take appropriate action. See "Investigations" below for more details.
Please note that Microsoft is not a mediator. As such, Microsoft encourages trademark owners to engage directly with advertisers who they believe are misusing their trademarks.
PaidContent suggested the other engines let Google go to the expense of fighting the legal battles -- the one with Rosetta Stone being a prominent one -- and getting rulings that opened the use to others before they started to offer this option.
Either way this new use of trademark terms should open Yahoo and Bing to a big lift in PPC spends.