Valve vs Blizzard over use of DOTA naming
Laurence Howe / 6 years ago
Two of the most successful PC developers of all time have gone to war over the use of the term DOTA (Defence of the Ancients).
In case you’re none the wiser, DOTA was a very popular fan mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft 3. In 2010 Valve hired one of the mod’s creators and announced it was working on DOTA 2. Blizzard expectedly wasn’t very please about this, especially as soon after it announced its own sequel, Blizzard DOTA.
To make things worse for the WarCraft developer, Valve moved to try and trademark the word “DOTA”, despite the fact it has no historical connection to the name – or even the game’s genre.
Standing before the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board, Blizzard argued that giving Valve the DOTA name would not only damage it, “but also the legions of Blizzard fans”.
As for Valve, this is what Blizzard had to say about the Half-Life dev:
“In contrast to Blizzard, Applicant Valve Corporation (“Valve”) has never used the mark DOTA in connection with any product or service that currently is available to the public.
“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. Valve has no right to the registration it seeks.
“If such registration is issued, it not only will damage Blizzard, but also the legions of Blizzard fans that have worked for years with Blizzard and its products, including by causing consumers to falsely believe that Valve’s products are affiliated, sponsored or endorsed by Blizzard and are related or connected to Warcraft III.”
Blizzard claims that, because the original DOTA required WarCraft III to play, it’s got a better case for a trademark than Valve.