Assume someone wanted to open a real estate office and wanted to use the name Java Realty, would that violate the Java (programming framework) trademark?

  • 1
    In general, a trademark that protects a particular word in connection with the sale of coffee does not prevent someone from using that word in connection with some other commercial activity that has nothing to do with the sale of coffee. But we cannot say specifically whether your opening an office called Java Realty would or would not violate any specific trademark, in part because we do not have all of the relevant information we would need to answer that question. That is one reason why requests for legal advice are off topic here.
    – phoog
    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:34

3 Answers 3


A basic rule of trademark law is that a trademark is protected only for use in the same industry, or in regard to the same general sort of thing. "Maxwell House" for example, is the name of a brand of Coffee, and no doubt a trademark. If A business used it as the name of a brand of mobile home, it would not infringe the mark of the coffee brand.

"Java" as a term for coffee , has been slang for any and all coffee at least as far back as WWII. I doubt that it is a currently active trademark in any case. It is, however, the name of a currently active programming language. Calling a new computer technology "Java" would probably infringe that (although the makers of javascript, a quite different computer language, seem to have gotten away with it). But it is hard to see how a realty company would so infringe. Of course there might be details which would cause this name to be infringing in fact, that I have no way of knowing. You could play safe with Sumatra Realty instead. Evin a quickly dismissed suit for trademark infringement could cost a startup time and money that might be a fatal handicap.

  • I wonder if rampant confusion between Java and JavaScript is sufficient to invalidate the former's trademark.
    – A. R.
    Oct 10, 2023 at 18:08

Who would sue?

The island in Indonesia, The Nickname for Coffee, the Programing language, now in it's 8th version, the scripting programing language that has no relationship at all to the first programing language but used Java cause the first language was the it item when the second language came out and they wanted a piece of the action that came with using the word "Java"?

Suffice to say, you wouldn't be the first, and the first two uses are too generic and the second two clearly have a possible suit to deal with, but the first didn't go after the second and both are pretty popular now.


Your question could mean one of two things:

(a) If I get sued over the name "Java Realty", will I win?


(b) Is it wise to run the risk of getting sued?

I Am Not A Lawyer, But

If you are just starting out in business, then the answer to (a) is no, because once you are sued for something like this, only the lawyers will win.

Play it safe and pick another name.

  • 2
    Every name has a potential to not be "safe". Java for a real estate business does not seem inherently unsafe without further research. Mar 11, 2019 at 4:17

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