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Microsoft Advertising policies

Intellectual property policies

14 February 2022

As an advertiser, you are responsible for ensuring that your keywords and ad content, including trademarks and logos, do not infringe or violate the intellectual property rights of others. We take allegations of trademark infringement seriously. Review our intellectual property policies below for details about trademarks, copyright, counterfeit goods and how to submit a complaint.


Counterfeit policy
Concerns the actual goods promoted on a site
Concerns the trademark used in text of the ad or keywords
Goods that mimic trademark brand features
Copyright/pirated goods
Goods that are a copy of the product (such as music, movies, software)

Trademark owner

If a trademark owner is concerned that their trademark is being used improperly in ad text, the owner should first contact the advertiser directly to address the issue. If dissatisfied with the outcome, the owner may also wish to contact Microsoft by completing the Intellectual Property Concern Form for that market and select the option “Trademark Misuse in Ad Copy.” See “Trademark infringement 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.

Trademark infringement investigations

Microsoft will investigate a complaint about trademark infringement in the text of a search ad and will take appropriate action after it receives all required information. The investigation is designed to ensure the quality and accuracy of our ad results and to help our users avoid confusion.

Microsoft allows the fair use of trademarks in ad text, such as:

  • Use of a trademark by a reseller of authentic goods or services.
  • Informational websites about goods or services represented by the trademark, such as product reviews.
  • Ordinary dictionary uses of a term.
  • Comparative advertising (with restrictions).
Hong Kong

Ad and keyword investigations

In addition to trademark infringement investigations, for the above markets, Microsoft will also investigate a complaint about trademark infringement in keyword use after it receives all required information via the Intellectual Property Concern Form. Advertisers may not bid on keywords, or use in the content of ads, any term whose use would infringe the trademark of any third party or otherwise be unlawful or in violation of the rights of any third party.

Use of a third-party trademark may be allowed if its use is truthful and lawful, for example, if:

  • Your website provides information—product reviews, for example—about goods or services that are represented by the trademark, and your principal offering is not any product or service that competes with the goods or services represented by the trademark.
  • You are clearly using the ordinary, dictionary use of a term, and your principal offering is not any product or service that competes with the goods or services represented by the trademark.
  • You are a reseller whose website sells authentic goods or services that are distributed under the trademark.

All other markets should submit a complaint about the use of a trademark in ad copy via the Intellectual Property Concern Form.

Counterfeit policy

Microsoft prohibits the advertising of counterfeit goods on our advertising network. A counterfeit good is one that copies without permission the trademark and/or distinctive features of a product in order to either pass itself off as the genuine product or promote a nearly identical replica or imitation of the original product. Trademark or designer product brand names cannot be modified with “counterfeit,” “fake,” "replica," "copy of," "inspired by," “bootleg” or any synonym thereof.

Upon receiving a sufficiently detailed complaint containing all required information, Microsoft will investigate and, if appropriate, remove from our network an ad that violates this policy. If you are a trademark owner and want to submit an allegation regarding the advertising of counterfeit goods, please complete the Intellectual Property Concern Form.

Counterfeit policy vs. trademark policy: Our counterfeit policy concerns the actual goods promoted on a site, whereas our trademark policy concerns use of the trademark in the ad text itself.

Counterfeit vs. copyright/pirated goods: A counterfeit good mimics trademark brand features rather than copying a product itself (such as music, movies, and software).

If you feel that an ad violates this policy, please complete the appropriate Intellectual Property Concern Form.

Intellectual property rights

  • Ads may not infringe upon Intellectual Property (IP) rights of others. The use of logos, registered marks, copyrighted material etc.
  • Advertisers represent and warrant that they possess all the necessary rights and authorizations in order to promote movies, songs, media or any other content which may be subject to proprietary rights of others. Microsoft is not required to pre-validate or vet advertisements at any time, or to resolve disputes on behalf of its customers. At times however, Microsoft may ask you for additional information related to your advertisements.
  • Advertisers are encouraged to maintain a DMCA compliant process, or local equivalent.