Blizzard Takes Valve to Court Over “DotA” Trademark
Instead of making other things a certain subset of gamers want really badly, Valve has moved from Portal 2 to DotA 2, a somewhat indirect, somewhat direct sequel to the super popular Defense of the Ancients Warcraft III mod. DotA has spawned various clones, and much like Minecraft — but before that — created a gaming genre. Valve didn’t initially create DotA (though they did hire the mod’s original developer, IceFrog), and while Blizzard also didn’t, they’re taking Valve to court over the trademark because, essentially, as you can probably guess, DotA was a mod on an original Blizzard property.
Blizzard opposes the trademark because, as they put it, Blizzard and its fans have been enjoying the DotA trademark for more than seven years exclusively under a game licensed and developed by Blizzard. Due to this use, Blizzard argues, DotA is essentially synonymous with Blizzard. Since Valve is attempting to trademark something that Blizzard feels is associated with their branding first and foremost, Valve is attempting to “appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill” that Blizzard has built up for DotA. Blizzard argues that if Valve does successfully register the trademark, they’ll be damaging Blizzard and its fans, and others will falsely believe that DotA is associated with Valve.
Blizzard is working on a DotA-style mod for StarCraft II, but it is entirely possible that these legal activities will delay both Valve’s DotA 2 and Blizzard’s StarCraft II DotA. If you like viewing legal papers that mention Warcraft III a bunch, check them out here.