According to an email received by a member of SEW forums, Yahoo will no longer allow bidding on brand keywords by non-brand owners. This is certainly big news, as bidding on competition brand names has long caused outrage by companies that find other organizations bidding on their trademark. Of course, very few companies check their trademark search terms regularly, so it is often not even noticed. And many of those that do notice it simply begin to bid on the competitor's brand too.
As many may know, a trademarked (brand) term can currently be bid on within the Yahoo and Google. There is to be no mention of the trademark within the Title and description of the ad text, however. The MSN AdCenter Pilot (BETA), alternatively, already has in its content guidelines the following:
Microsoft requires all advertisers to agree that they will not bid on keywords, or use in the text of their advertisements, any word whose use would infringe the trademark of any third party or would otherwise be unlawful or in violation of the rights of any third party.
Danny Sullivan just posted initial thoughts about the subject at the SEW Blog, and says:
The policy doesn't seem to completely ban bidding on terms that are also trademarks, which is good...
This will likely trigger a lively conversation at Search Engine Watch Forums