Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota Trademark Attempt

February 10, 2012 -

Blizzard has challenged Valve's efforts to secure a U.S. trademark on Defense of the Ancients - something it said it had no plans of doing. In 2011 Valve announced plans to create a sequel to the popular Warcraft II mod, Defense of the Ancients. At the time Blizzard said that it would not oppose the company, but said that it was confused by the move. Today we learn that Blizzard filed a complaint with the U.S. trademark in opposition of Valve's registration of the Dota name in late 2011.

In its filing, Blizzard said that the Dota name has been used by the Warcraft III community for more than seven years, and is therefore associated with Blizzard.

"Valve Corporation has never used the mark Dota in connection with any product or service that currently is available to the public," read the complaint. "By attempting to register the mark Dota, Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed in the mark Dota and in its Warcraft III computer game and take for itself a name that has come to signify the product of years of time and energy expended by Blizzard and by fans of Warcraft III."

The complaint went on to state that Valve has no right to the registration its seeks - and if it is issued to Valve - it would damage Blizzard and its fans who worked hard for years on. The company added that the trademark would confuse consumers and cause them to believe that Valve's product is somehow associated with Blizzard and Warcraft III.

Finally, Blizzard said in its filing that Valve has never "released, distributed, or sold any products using the mark Dota, or, for that matter, any of the Dota Marks."

The company concludes that, "if Valve is granted registration of the Dota mark, it would obtain a prima facie exclusive right to use of its mark that would cause damage and injury to Blizzard."

Both Valve and Blizzard are working on Defense of the Ancients products. League of Legends is also a Dota-style product, because it was created by core members of the Dota community development team.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

I have to wonder what kind of impact it would have on other situations if Blizzard won this.  It wouldn't be exactly analogous, but what about when a game developer has created a string of popular games for one console and then decides to move to another company's console for their next release in the series?

I can understand not wanting Valve to be able to get the trademark.  From my (admittedly limited) understanding, however, it doesn't sound like Blizzard should have the rights over the name that they seem to be trying to claim, either.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

The man who invented the original mod works for Valve so in my opinion they should have it.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

What I think it boils down to is this.  I think of Dota as more of a name of a genre of games then anything else.  Yes, it started off as the name of a mod, but now its a whole genre in itself.

Valve attempting to trademark Dota is like someone trying to trademark the term First Person Shooter, or Real Time Strategy.

That is my opinion, at least.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

The genre's generally identified by dota, but console RPGs used to be identified as FF-type RPGs. Just because a game defines a genre doesn't mean that trademarking that game is the same as trademarking the entire genre.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

I don't think Blizzard is 100% the bad guy for doing this. I can't recall a previous incident where a community-made mod has changed companies when going commercial, and this could actually set valuable legal precedent.

It's more a matter of finding out legally for future situations. Once there's precedent set by this case, it will be easier on both sides of any future contests.

Personally, I believe that the mod (and its concept) of course belongs to its authors. If they actually sold DOTA rights to Blizzard, that would be one thing. Otherwise, they should be free to transfer it to a new platform at their will.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

Yeah. Blizzard doesnt own DOTA, and therefore doesnt have the rights to stop Ice Frog from selling the name to Valve. Otherwise ID Software will start going to every company that developed a game with Deathmatch mode, and ask them to pay up :)

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

Just because Icefrog worked on Dota Allstars (which was NOT the original dota in the first place) doesn't mean he owns the rights to that name himself. That's why this whole thing is such a mess, and why I think Valve trying to trademark it was a stupid thing to begin with. It's the name of a community mod and no one should "own" it at all, period. Would it have been so hard for them to just find a different name?


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I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

While messy, I could see Valve wanting to trademark now and hash through these issues then produce something that becomes a minefield later.  For the moment Valve's investment is pretty thin and thus if it goes badly they do not loose much.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

Just to make sure, because I see a lot of pissed people bitching at Blizzard for 'trying to claim DOTA for themselves': Is Blizzard trying to score it themselves, or just saying it has such a connection to them it'd be bullocks for Valve to get it?

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

Definitely the latter. Whether they're actually trying to acquire the rights to the name themselves isn't very clear, partly because they have to establish themselves as a party that actually has a stake in this in order to block Valve at all, and to do that they have to use the same arguments they would if they were actually trying to claim the rights.


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I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Report: Blizzard Filed Opposition to Valve's Dota ...

Both really.

 
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