Hansen Beverage Company saw its application for JAVA MONSTER (word mark; the image on the right is for illustration only), claiming protection for non-alcoholic drinks, refused in Switzerland. The Federal Adminstrative Court upheld the decision by the Swiss Trade Mark Office that the relevant consumers would understand JAVA primarily as a geographic indication of origin. The use of the sign for goods not originating from the Indonesian island of Java was misleading.
Hansen argued in vain that Indonesia exported hardly any non-alcoholic beverages into Switzerland - it was sufficient that such products could be produced in Java, even if current imports were marginal.
The corresponding CTM 5124045 was registered by the OHIM without any objection. The decision shows once again the very strict Swiss practice regarding geographic indications. Be afraid, be very afraid if your trade mark contains any hint of a geographic place name.
Decision of 28 January 2010 here.