The truth is that you will probably never catch every trademark bidder and even if you do, there is not much you can actually do about them. Even tools that search the web every hour could be missing your ads because of geotargeting and even if they scan from every city in the world, they may still miss the ads because of dayparting.
Google and most of the search engines do not stop people from bidding on your trademarks, and even if they do bid on them and you complain to the engine, they probably aren’t going to do much to the person or company bidding on your trademarks. So what can you do to stop them from bidding on your trademarks?
The first thing everyone thinks to do is sue them. But what are you suing them for? Competitive advertising? It is the same as them buying a billboard by your office or company, buying ad space next to an article about your company in a newspaper or buying an ad right next to your company’s ad in a local magazine. It is technically fair game and chances are the lawsuit would be thrown out in court.
You can however have your lawyers send a seize and desist letter to their legal or Marketing team and then follow up with a phone call or email to ask them to stop, if you didn’t do that before you had your lawyers send them the letter. But even before you get to that point, you should always send an email or give a phone call first as that usually actually stops them from bidding.
Now, if they don’t want to stop or refuse to stop bidding on your trademarks, the next thing you can do is to start bidding on their trademarks and wait for them to get pissed off (I am not recommending this, just saying it is one possible option your company can take) and end up calling you. At that point, you should have your own screen shots and videos of them doing it to you and say ok, let’s call it quits and both stop, or we can both continue.
Now, the one thing you can do is that if the competitor or other person is using your trademark in their ads, now Google will take action on them, but you have to send the screen shot of the ad, all the info about how you searched and found it and a couple other things. You should also keep records of this in your own files and even maybe send it to your lawyers as well so it is also documented by them. Usually if they are doing this Google will put their account under review and stop those ads and ad groups from running.
The other thing to think about is that if they are bidding on your trademark, using it in their ads and also dropping it on a competing product. At this point you may actually be able to take legal action against the competitor, but you really have to dissect the situation and properly record everything going on. There is a lot more than just a screen shot to prove this and you need to do a lot more than just screen shot it, however if I showed you here how I catch it and what I do to record and dissect the entire trademark infringement, well I would not be able to catch and stop it as easily so I am not going to go into the details very much. Think about it, they are using a trademark that you own and built a brand for, but tricking your customers who were looking for your trademark, saw the trademark in an ad but now cannot find the product that you own the trademark for? That is deceptive advertising and stealing from you in my book, however it will be up to you legal team to give you actual legal advice on it from this point, I can only give you my opinion.
So how else can you catch the People, Affiliates and Competitors that are bidding on your trademarks, even if they are geotargeting and dayparting you out?
My favorite tool for finding these people is Brandverity’s Poachmark software.
Not only is it very easy to use and simple to look at, but it pulls back Affiliate IDs, Urls, competitors ads, etc… and scans for however many trademarks you want and at whatever intervals you want from random locations so that even when you cannot do these searches yourself, Brandverity and Poachmark are still working for you to catch the people using your trademarks to make money for themselves and rip you off.
Brandverity and Poachmark are a bit overpriced, but in reality they are 100% worth the money and one of the most powerful tools for Search Marketers and Affiliate Managers and definitely for the Legal Teams who are trying to bust the Competitors and Affiliates who are bidding on your trademarks and profiting off of your hard work in building your brands.
Brandverity and Poachmark are well worth the money and a definite must have and David provides amazing customer support for his tool. I definitely think you will not be disappointed if you decide to go with and use the Poachmark trademark bidding software from Brandverity.
There is not much you can do legally to stop people from bidding on your trademarks, but there are things you can do to catch them and to at least stop your Affiliate Partners from bidding on your trademarks and be able to at least monitor who is bidding on your trademarks and keep a closer eye on who may be ripping you off.