Adword use of competitor’s trademark

When is it allowed to use your competitors / market leaders brand as an Adword in an online campaign? In a recent case defendant carried out a comparison test of his own water softener (Aquamag7000) and the Amfa4000 from competitor 24Man. The comparison is positive for the defendants product and the company wants to generate publicity with this result. If the search term Amfa4000 is entered in Google, ads appear with headlines like “Amfa4000 vs Aquamag 7000 - read this before your purchase”.


This advertisement links to a website on which the test results are featured along with the conclusion that the Aquamag7000 is twice as powerful while being cheaper than the Amfa4000. Man24 objects to this.

Rule is that it must be immediately clear to the average internet user from which party the advertisement originates. If both brands are directly featured in the page header, it will be clear that this is a comparison test of two products (one of which is from the competitor).

It is irrelevant that the affiliated company sells more products as a result of this. This is allowed.

There was also an ad that only featured the competitor's brand. That is not allowed. In this way it is unclear what the relationship is between the advertisers company and the competitor's brand. So you may use a competitor's brand, but should do so with care. (Source image:


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?