Beginning May 5, 2008, Google will no longer protect brand holders against competitors bidding on their trademarked terms in pay-per-click advertising. Previously, Google Adwords policy allowed trademark holders to eliminate the unauthorized use of their trademarks as bid terms by competitors. Brand Republic has the story here.
At best, the policy change will increase bid prices requiring advertisers to pay more for ads triggered by their own marks. At worst, the policy may result in more widespread customer diversion as well as increase fraud-related activity that uses pay-per-click as the attack vector.