PARIS, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Google said Wednesday it will shift advertising policies in most of Europe, allowing advertisers to use brand names as part of their search codes.
The change means an advertiser can use a name like Prada as part of its identifying code, so that searches on Google are directed to the advertiser -- or a retail store carrying the brand.
The move applies to words that may be trademarked -- the name Prada, for example, The New York Times reported.
The change matches Google's policy in Europe as a whole with the policy already in effect in Great Britain, Ireland and the United States.
The shift means trademark owners will need to be ever more vigilant about misuse of their trademarks. Google said it will still entertain complaints from trademark owners about questionable uses of brand names.
Big-name companies had argued that overuse of their names would dilute the value of their brands.
Google's shift "will come as a blow to rights holders … over policing content in a challenging online environment," said Dominic Batchelor, a corporate partner in a law firm in London.
"The onus will be on rights holders to monitor and assert their rights," he said.