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Sun vs. JavaGeeks.com: Does Sun own Java or only the Java(tm) Language

Posted by schaefa on December 1, 2004 at 12:52 PM PST

I do not like legal discussions or disputes because here in the US it is quite often big money against little money and as a single person you are silenced by big corporations' power. I also know that I go on a slippery slope here but I think it is important for all of us to know where and how the name Java can be used and why some 'entities' can use Java in their name and other do not.

In Ted's blog entry about his dispute with Sun about his website JavaGeeks.com you can see that Sun is challenging the use of Java in his domain name. I was completely shocked that Sun is challenging this domain name especially because many other websites are using Java in their name like OnJava.com, Java Ranch, JavaLobby, JavaWorld and probably many more. Not to mention about all the books taking about Java and using the word Java in their title.

I know and respect that Sun own the name Java as trademark for their language but I have a problem to understand how Sun can claim that Java in JavaGeeks.com means their language. We all know that many developers drink a lot of coffee (hot, I suppose) and therefore JavaGeeks.com just means 'Hot Coffee Techies'. Yes, the web site does talk about Java(tm) language but this is not obvious to someone who just sees the domain name. Again, Java is a term widely used in the US for hot coffee and so Java in a domain name does not immediately means Java(tm), the programming language. Again, I am not a layer and therefore my logic of law maybe flawed.

We, the Java(tm) developers, should talk about this and express our opinions to indicate to Sun Microsystem if we approve or condemn their actions. At the end we all may be affected by this.

Long life good Java (no-tm) – Andy

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