Jump to content
Salesforce and other SMB Solutions are coming soon. ×

Google Adwords - Trademark Violation?

Kirsty Hannam

Recommended Posts

(note to Moderator - wasn't sure where to put this, so feel free to move)


I'm trying to advertise my FileMaker services for the first time on Google Adwords. However, my advert keeps being disapproved by Google for "trademark violations". Basically, I'm not allowed to use the word "FileMaker" anywhere in my advert.


So, how am I supposed to advertise FileMaker development services if I can't say "FileMaker"?! :mad:


Has anyone else come across this? How does everyone else get past this?


I know that other developers advertise with the word "FileMaker" - you only need to do a Google search for "FileMaker developers" and you'll see dozens of adverts, just like mine, all using the FileMaker name in their text.


I've even tried changing my advert text to match another developer's advert word for word (not that I want to keep it like that) and it was still disapproved and suspended by Google, whilst the other developer's identical ad carries on running!


I'm baffled. What makes it worse is I'm trying to use a £30 Google Adwords voucher that I was given by my web host. The cynic in me almost wonders whether Google are deliberately stalling/suspending my advert, because the voucher is only valid for March 2008 - so if they keep faffing about, my voucher will run out before my advert even starts running!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This has come up elsewhere previously. I believe it occurs because FileMaker Inc has a the trademark policy in place with Google, for the purpose of preventing software pirates from operating through adwords. It's not meant to target legitimate service providers.


I understand that if you contact Google to request an exemption it is likely to be approved (there may be a short delay while they clear it with the Advertising department at FMI). Alternatively you could send your request to FMI directly. Once your site's URL is listed as exempted you should not encounter restrictions again in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've already put in an appeal to Google twice, and both times I've been turned down - even with the advert that was a "clone" of another developer's text.


I've spent the whole month going backwards and forwards arguing my case but I just keep getting automated responses saying my advert violates their trademark regulations and has been suspended. My voucher runs out in a few days and I haven't even got my ad up and running yet! I use Google Adwords to advertise my web design services, so I'm very disappointed at their attitude.


Do you know who I should get in touch with at FileMaker for this type of query? I'd like to bring this issue to FileMaker's attention, if nothing else.


Here's the extract for the suspension email from Google:



After careful consideration, we are unable to grant the exception requests listed below. Your ad or keyword is no longer active. For your convenience, I have included your original message to us directly below each policy violation.


Trademarked Term: FileMaker

Your explanation: I'm selling FileMaker development services - so obviously, I need to use the word FileMaker. Also, my competitors' Google Ads are using FileMaker - so I can't see why this is a problem!


-> Ad Content: Please remove the following trademark from your ad: "FileMaker"


As you can see, either the person who looked at my requests doesn't speak a word of English, or they have some other motive (i.e. they're deliberately letting my voucher to run out). All Google has to do is read what I've said in my email to them and check out my website - I'm not offering anything that violates any trademarks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the responsible person at FMI is the Advertising Manager (I don't have a name I'm afraid). Or you could contact Developer Relations and ask them to follow it up for you, if you prefer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

have you tried (exact)... FileMakerâ„¢. All trademarks recognized etc.,


FMI have very strict terms and conditions about the use of 'their' trademarks, interesting that this is a problem with google, sorry for your problem :-(


FileMaker publish their terms etc., at filemaker.com and if I remember correctly they have a department

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought, have you tried (exact)... FileMakerâ„¢. All trademarks recognized etc.,


FMI have very strict terms and conditions about the use of 'their' trademarks, interesting that this is a problem with google, sorry for your problem :-(


FileMaker publish their terms etc., at filemaker.com and if I remember correctly they have a link which deals with exactly your problem from there

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, I've already consulted the trademark guidelines.


I've tried adding a trademark symbol but it still gets refused by the Google Adwords team. What's even more annoying is that if you do a search for "FileMaker developer" or similar, there are plenty of adverts that simply say "FileMaker" or "FileMaker Pro" - no trademark symbol. I've pointed this fact out to Google but they just send me the same email back.


I'll contact FileMaker and complain but that doesn't help me in the short term. My £30 voucher runs out in a matter of days, and I'll have had no use out of it, which is frustrating.


I just get tired of everything being a battle these days - nothing is easy or simple and it wears me down. What should've been a 10 minute job to set up an advert has turned into hours of researching, emailing etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just got this in an email from Google:


In order for us to allow the trademark 'FileMaker' to appear in your ads,

we require direct authorisation from the trademark owner. Please have the

owner of the tradermark 'FileMaker' send us an email at

ads-trademarks@google.com with the following information:


1. An explicit statement authorising you to use the trademarked term

2. Your Google login email address or Customer ID


Alternatively, you may have the trademark owner send us a signed letter on

company letterhead with the above information.


The trademark owner can fax the letter to:

001 650-649-1774

Attn: Google AdWords Trademark Complaints


With only 6 days left on my voucher, there isn't much point pursuing this. FileMaker aren't going to get back to me that quickly and I'm not sure I want to risk paying for Google AdWords given the hassle I've had. I've spent a full month trying to get my advert up and running, which has cost me more in time than the voucher was worth in the first place. All in all - extremely tiresome.


I would be curious to know:


1. Who else uses Google AdWords - is it successful for you?

2. Is everyone else jumping through these hoops, or is it just me?


I'm planning to join the FileMaker Technical Network and Business Alliance programmes next month (waiting until the new financial year for tax!) and I'll be interested to see if FileMaker are giving out any advice to their developers about Google. I've read through the FileMaker trademark guidelines but I don't see anything specific about advertising (maybe I've missed it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel sorry for ya lass! - but really a Yorkshire lass like you shouldn't be getting her knickers in a twist over this, even when (i know) it is soooooo frustrating, it's only twopenny ad!


Do you really think the web and google are going to present your fortune on a plate? I know the argument that it only takes one inquiry to pay for everything... one inquiry from someone researching something they can't make a decision about anyway, and the same inquiry sent to fifty-five other vendors at the same time


Unless that inquiry comes from Barnsley or Leeds it ain't likely to even hit home. I am not trying to put a dampener on your efforts, just attempting to clear some of the smoke that has been hanging over your head


Your business will come from referral, it will come from one job leading to the next... hey! there's a good place to spend $60 or so, generating referrrals from your exisitng clients! - buy each one lunch!


Jump on the phones, develop a lead or two, speak to customers not google. Perhaps FMI or google will save the day for you, does it really matter?


Define and redefine your market(s), and research them online... not wait to have someone, maybe, per chance... just maybe, find you on a google. Be proactive (not always the easiest for a software-head), not just reactive in your selling.


Try this... collect X number of contact addresses of potential clients from online sources, personally mail them or fax them or email them... and then follow them up with a nice personal call and ask if they might be interested in discussing your services; repeat this each day or week until you are so busy with work and jobs that you never again have time to think about giggle-adssmiley_cool


Good luck and go for it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I know this happened a bit ago but I really wanted to share with you some info that might help you.


It is true that you can purchase keywords so that google finds you on the web... however there is a much more efficient and cheaper way to get google to find you when people are searching for "FileMaker" or "Database" help.


Take a look at the website at databasepros.com and even this website itself.


What is drawing people when you do a search?




Lots and Lots of content that continually and regularly mentions the FileMaker program and updates every single day. It is quality content with quality keywords that updates regularly.


So, what you need to do is write articles put them on your website, put them on others sites (article marketing).... and after some time of doing this on a regular basis, the search engines will love you and find you. No real need to buy keywords at all if you do this.


A good example is to google your own name, or mine, Stephanie Watson, in quotes.


I've never bought a keyword with my name on it, and I'm sure you haven't either, but if you've ever written a post or an article that is archived by the search engines you'll be there some place.


Good luck to you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please start a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use