Apple Loosens up on "Mac" Trademark Use — The email has been coming fast and furious as Macintosh developers, consultants, and resellers have been contacting me after reading "Apple Cracks Down on Google AdWords" in TidBITS-799. A number of people forwarded their entire discussions with Google AdWords Support, which has been amusing for just how similarly each interaction unfolded. Google did start to provide additional information to people who pushed hard last week, even acknowledging that the request had come from Apple and was specifically related to ads running in the European Union. Randy Murray of Now Software was even told that the ban applied only to ads running in Switzerland and Eastern Europe, and when he tweaked the geographic distribution of his ads to eliminate those countries, the ads were approved again.
The best news, however, came from Craig Isaacs and Kerry MacInnes of Neon Software, who, after going through exactly the same rigmarole that everyone else did, were finally told by Google AdWords Support that, "At this time we are no longer monitoring the term ‘Mac’ per the trademark owner’s request." Intrigued, I immediately created a new ad in Google AdWords that used every one of the Apple trademarks I listed previously, and in fact, it appears to be true: "Mac" and "Macintosh" no longer trigger the trademark warning from Google. The other Apple trademarks I listed – Apple, iPod, shuffle, Mac mini, iMac, iBook, PowerBook, Power Mac, iTunes, and iTMS – all still trigger Google’s warning, although you may be able to work around that problem by setting your geographic distribution appropriately and requesting an exception from Google. I’ve queried Google PR and Apple PR to see if they’ll admit to this change officially, but as usual, neither has deigned to offer a statement. [ACE]