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I want to register a domain (within Poland) that contains "Java" word in it. Am I allowed to it, or is it illegal?

I heard about the case of Vavr (formerly Javaslang) which changed the name due to trademark issues - http://blog.vavr.io/javaslang-changes-name-to-vavr/

Does this law works globally or just in few countries? Is it ok to use "Java" in a domain in Poland?

  • I don't know trademark law in Poland. In the US it would depend on the purpose. If the site was to sell a programing tool it might well infringe. If to sell a caffeinated drink, probably not. if to sell something else, maybe. If to sell nothing, almost surely not. In general, if the mark is used to sell things, and could reasonably be confused with the existing trademarked product or its good will or reputation, it may well infringe. I think this basic idea is common to most countries, but I am not sure. Details will surely vary. – David Siegel Nov 15 '18 at 21:13
  • @DavidSiegel Why does selling something matter? If you develop your own programming language tool and call it Java-NG for example that would also be a problem, even if you just give it away for free. – Brandin Nov 16 '18 at 8:15
  • @Brandin: Selling something matters because what trademarks do is protect the use of an identifying mark in trade that is when selling something. If giving something away dilutes or harms the mark for the owner who is selling things, that could also be an infringement, if people could reasonably be confused, or could reasonably believe that the free product was endorsed or produced by the maker of the trademarked item. – David Siegel Nov 16 '18 at 15:41
  • I wanted to use it for Java online course, so probably it's not the best idea. – Dariusz Mydlarz Nov 16 '18 at 19:09
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Update 11/16/18

Per the comments, using the term Java in an online course about the language would almost certainly draw scrutiny from Oracle.


Trademarks | Legal | Oracle says this:

Domain Names Do not use Oracle trademarks or potentially confusing variations in your Internet domain name. This helps prevent Internet users from being confused as to whether you or Oracle is the source of the Web site.

That could be viewed as a warning of potential litigation. Oracle is a worldwide company with deep pockets, so as in your example, they will litigate over a business or product name. If your domain is related to software, beware. Poland is a member of the European Union, so EU laws apply in Poland. Trade mark law of the European Union - Wikipedia.

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    The report of the suit by Oracle against Starbucks appears to have been an April Fool's joke. It was published on 1 April. I find nothing beyond repeats of the original story, no result although this was back in 2010, and one repeat that explicitly says it was an April Fool joke. – David Siegel Nov 15 '18 at 23:15
  • It's always better to read the whole story: "[Oracle] also says Starbucks hired some of Sun's Java engineers to develop Java Chip Frappucino Ice Cream." – bdb484 Nov 16 '18 at 0:45
  • Hahaha. Got me. I didn't realize that was a joke.... – BlueDogRanch Nov 16 '18 at 1:14
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If you're selling coffee or trips to Indonesia, you're more likely to be safe.

If you're planning on using the URL to do anything related to the programming language or the software platform, you should probably be prepared for a cease-and-desist letter.

  • It is related to programming, I am working a Java course and I wanted to use Java in the domain, but I am aware that it may be prohibited – Dariusz Mydlarz Nov 16 '18 at 19:08
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I had similar concerns so I contacted with Oracle via email. This is their response:

Dear Tomek,

Thank you for contacting us. Oracle does not approve proposals to adopt domain names containing the Java trademark. Our goal as the owner and steward of the Java trademark is to preserve a level playing field among members of the Java community, and we have a concern that users might mistakenly believe the site to be affiliated with Oracle based on the domain name. Thank you for reviewing our Third Party Usage Guidelines for Oracle Trademarks at https://www.oracle.com/legal/trademarks.html before writing to us. We recommend that you choose a name that complies with our guidelines. We appreciate your dedication to Java technology and we wish you the best on your blog.

Regards, Oracle Trademark & Copyright Legal Group

  • They're not limiting scope of language popularity. They're stating clearly that the use of their trademark in an unapproved way will not be accepted, and explain their (very positive) reason for doing so. – Nij Sep 11 at 19:58

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