On May 5, Google will allow trademark bidding in the UK and Ireland.
Internationally, Google has kept stricter policies regarding the bidding on trademarked terms. Typically Google doesn't allow it.
Google's change now brings their UK/Ireland trademark policies in line with their US policies. This quote from Google's announcement is particularly notable:
We want advertisers to use keywords that are most relevant to their business and our user's interests. Google's goal is to provide our users with the most relevant information, whether it is from our search results or advertisements. A key to achieving this goal with our ads is providing relevant choices and giving users the opportunity to determine which ads they find most relevant.
I would expect a steady push in this direction in other markets.