Over the past week we have received a number of charged responses regarding the recent change in policy related to the use of Digium trademarked terms in Google AdWords. Some of the responses supported our attempts to better control the use of Digium trademarked terms. Some of the responses disagreed with the policy, but respected Digium’s right to have changed the policy. Others were from individuals who clearly were unhappy with the change and the process by which it was implemented. We have listened carefully to the feedback, and as a result are relaxing our Google AdWord policy.
While we did provide Google a list of organizations that would be authorized to use the Digium trademarked terms, in retrospect it’s apparent that we underestimated the number of organizations that were utilizing Digium trademarked terms in their Google AdWords marketing campaigns. Underestimating the magnitude of this policy change also resulted in inadequate planning of the implementation of the change – we simply could have done a better job of communicating the proposed change in advance of it being implemented. We also could have better understood the actual mechanics of Google’s enforcement engine – and better anticipated the corresponding result.
In short, we now believe we made a mistake and are working to relax the requirements for using Digium trademarked terms in Google AdWords. The resulting change will reinstate trademark rights for the vast majority of those using the terms. For the confusion and frustration created by this event, we sincerely apologize.
A common test that I often use in determining the proper reaction when something goes wrong is – were we doing it for the right reasons? In this case the answer is absolutely yes. On the part of Digium and the Asterisk community and ecosystem, there’s value in ensuring that the trademarked terms are used in a legal, consistent, and ethical fashion. While it is important for Digium to protect its trademarks, we now better understand just how significant an impact changes in this area can have and just how important it is for any proposed changes to be judiciously derived and methodically implemented.
Thank you for your continued support of Digium.