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Post by Eorl @ 05:50pm 10/02/12 | 57 Comments
Blizzard and Valve are heading to the courts over the DOTA trademark, which stands for Defense of the Ancients, a custom map that began in the Warcraft 3 era of gaming.

According to the USPTO Blizzard vs Valve filing, Blizzard are trying to argue that the DOTA trademark has no connection to Valve at all, even though it was a custom map and not one that was specifically designed by Blizzard.
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.
Also of interest is how Blizzard claims Valve are "one of Blizzard's primary competitors in the PC computer game market", even though Blizzard has never published any other genre besides RTS, MMO or RPG.

Valve are currently in beta stages with their DOTA 2, and are actually using the original team that created the Warcraft 3 map in development. Blizzard have stated they are working on a "Blizzard DOTA", which takes place in the StarCraft 2 engine.

Leave us a comment below on your thoughts and if we hear anything from either side we will make sure to report it.



blizzarddota 2dotavalvecourttrademark





Latest Comments
Deviouz
Posted 05:52pm 10/2/12
this should be good
glynd
Posted 06:07pm 10/2/12
My love for Blizzard is dimishing ... :(
darkjedi
Posted 06:14pm 10/2/12
I don't like it when mummy & daddy fight.
Bertis
Posted 06:14pm 10/2/12
I'm glad Blizzard finally did this. I never understood how Valve could just take DOTA over without even approaching Blizzard and create a sequel to a game they never had anything to do with. Just feels wrong IMO.
Bertis
Posted 06:16pm 10/2/12
Though I would've liked to see Blizzard do this earlier. They've had years to do something about it.
glynd
Posted 06:21pm 10/2/12
I'm glad Blizzard finally did this. I never understood how Valve could just take DOTA over without even approaching Blizzard and create a sequel to a game they never had anything to do with. Just feels wrong IMO.


I don't know the whole back story but isn't this like iD suing Valve over Team Fortress?
Eorl
Posted 06:25pm 10/2/12
I'm glad Blizzard finally did this. I never understood how Valve could just take DOTA over without even approaching Blizzard and create a sequel to a game they never had anything to do with. Just feels wrong IMO.

Blizzard actually never created DOTA, it was just some randoms who made it for WC3. They are now working for Valve with DOTA 2, so really the only way Blizzard "own" the name DOTA is due to a recent change in their TOS, which states any mods are licensed under them.
RocK_M
Posted 06:48pm 10/2/12
@Bertis: ROFLMAO...really? you really think Valve should have asked Blizz for permission for a CUSTOM MAP that I might add WAS NOT CREATED BY BLIZZARD. And who's original creator is actually working WITH VALVE?!

I can really see where that promise of Blizz being "hands off" on the corporate culture wise promise went when they got bought out... if anything if it wasn't for what Eorl said about the TOS being conveniently changed as of late to give rights of ownership of mod maps to Blizz and not the makers themselves this wouldn't even fly... the question here is since DotA *was* made before these changes would they be applied retroactively to previous mod maps or not?
Tetsuo
Posted 06:57pm 10/2/12
Smells of activision taint.
Nathan
Posted 07:02pm 10/2/12
I don't know the whole back story but isn't this like iD suing Valve over Team Fortress?
At face value it sure sounds like it. If the guys who made DOTA, who were never employed by Blizzard, are now working at Valve then it certainly seems like morally Valve have a stronger claim to the trademark than blizzard do.

Will be interesting to see how it plays out in court.
Shaexen
Posted 07:45pm 10/2/12
Sounds like greedy corporate laywers rustling up some work.
carson
Posted 08:13pm 10/2/12
Smells of activision taint.

My sentiments exactly.

I really don't think that Blizzard have any ground for this. Independent people created the map then got hired by Valve, so really, Valve should own DOTA name now.
FSCB
Posted 08:29pm 10/2/12
90% for Valve on this one. Blizzard only have rights to the DOTA name, because it is obviously based on one of their maps from WC3, other than that they didn't provide much at all to the DOTA game.

Legally, I think if it goes to court Valve might just have to change the name or somehow convince the court that DOTA doesn't stand for Defence of the Ancients anymore, maybe Defence of T_____ A_____.
That way DOTA2 might be seen as a brand new entity and nothing to do with the original WC3 Defence of the Ancients.
Timmeh
Posted 08:43pm 10/2/12
How about Definitely an Original Trademark Activision
Llian
Posted 09:18pm 10/2/12
I can see both sides of the fence on this one.
One side, Valve trying to trademark that for the last 6-7 years has been associated with WC3 (Blizzard) is wrong.
On the other side, Blizzard had shed loads of time to file this. Why now AFTER all the publicity and beta stuff? Smells bad. Just like Activision.
kos
Posted 10:30pm 10/2/12
Man do you guys love to be outraged by stuff!

If the guys who made DOTA, who were never employed by Blizzard, are now working at Valve then it certainly seems like morally Valve have a stronger claim to the trademark than blizzard do.

It's not even the guys who made DotA who are working at Valve, it's a guy who worked on the most popular derivative after it was created.

From Wikipedia:
The first version of Defense of the Ancients was released in 2003 by a mapmaker under the alias of Eul who based the map on a previous StarCraft scenario known as "Aeon of Strife". After the release of Warcraft's expansion The Frozen Throne, which added new features to the World Editor, Eul did not update the scenario. Other mapmakers produced spinoffs that added new heroes, items, and features.

Among the DotA variants created in the wake of Eul's map, there was DotA Allstars, developed by modder Steve Feak (under the alias Guinsoo); this version would become today's dominant version of the map, simply known as Defense of the Ancients

This IceFrog guy who simply "worked on" DotA Allstars since 2005 sounds like one of the least entitled to claim ownership of the DotA name and trademark.

Also this:
Shortly following a Q&A by IceFrog on the website of Defense of the Ancients, elaborating on his recruitment by Valve, a trademark filing claim was made by the company on August 6, 2010. Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, the original developer of the DotA Allstars variant and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon, the creator of dota-allstars.com and director of community relations for Riot Games, expressed their concern that Valve should not trademark the DotA name, due to their views that it should remain as a community asset.

On August 9, 2010, Mescon filed an opposing trademark for "DOTA" on behalf of DotA-Allstars, LLC, a subsidiary of Riot Games, in order to "protect the work that dozens of authors have done to create the game". Rob Pardo, the executive vice president of Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of Warcraft III, expressed a similar concern, explaining that the DotA name should remain within the Warcraft III community.

Blizzard acquired DotA-Allstars, LLC from Riot Games in 2011, to enforce their claim as not only the creators of the Warcraft III World Editor, but to have the rights from a company that made a claim to the mod previously. During the game's unveiling at Gamescom 2011, Gabe Newell explained Valve's perspective on acquring the trademark, which was that IceFrog desired to develop a direct sequel to DotA and that players would likely recognize it as such. Blizzard filed suit against Valve in November of 2011, citing the Warcraft III World Editor and their ownership of DotA-Allstars, LLC as a proper claim on the franchise.


I agree that Blizzard should have been proactive and taken control of the DotA concept, name, makers, etc. a long time ago to avoid all this bulls*** though.
Dazhel
Posted 10:43pm 10/2/12
Next up: Blizzard trademarks MMORPGTM and sues anyone who dares develop a World of Warcraft competitor.
DeadlyDav0
Posted 11:18pm 10/2/12
Blizzard can get f***ed. Its not like they jumped on DOTA like how Valve jumped on CS when it was first released as a mod or whatever. And Day of Defeat IIRC.
Raider
Posted 11:46pm 10/2/12
i don't even think of blizzard when i think of dota and i played dota for ages.. it was just an unsupported wc3 mod... but like most things they want a piece of the pie because it was on their game.
Hogfather
Posted 12:10am 11/2/12
I've never really understood why the frog guy works for Valve and not Blizzard? How did Vivendi f*** that up?
Tollaz0r!
Posted 12:43am 11/2/12
Yer I'd say Blizzard missed their chance to grab DotA, they had plenty of time to use it.

Poor form Blizzard.
Crakaveli
Posted 12:44am 11/2/12
f*** blizzard.
Phranx
Posted 01:06am 11/2/12
skythra
Posted 01:19am 11/2/12
I'm glad Blizzard finally did this. I never understood how Valve could just take DOTA over.

Blizard and dota are related as much as ID owns Call of Duty franchise because they were on the same engine at some point once in their life.
Reverend Evil
Posted 01:36am 11/2/12
Blizzard prolly have an ace up their sleeve and were waiting until Valve had spent an assload of time making the game. And now they're gonna play that card.

Still, it's a d*** move when they could have done it so long ago.
kos
Posted 02:38am 11/2/12
Blizard and dota are related as much as ID owns Call of Duty franchise because they were on the same engine at some point once in their life.

Your analogy is flawed because Call of Duty never used any Quake assets in the game, unlike with DotA and Warcraft III (not to mention the fact that the Quake engine was licensed by IW). I'm not saying that it means Blizzard owns it, just that the comparison is not equal.

As I tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to make clear in my previous post, in my opinion too many different people have had significant input into DotA's success for just one of them to then be able to go off to a company and claim rights to the DotA trademark.

Blizzard probably shouldn't have rights to it either. There should be a way to make a certain name un-trademarkable, so that it can continue to be used in the public domain without any companies being able to cash in on it...
Tollaz0r!
Posted 11:19am 11/2/12
Heros of Newearth ditched the DotA name and it didn't seem to harm them in anyway. Valve could drop the DotA name and use something else without much of a hit to their marketing imo. Everyone who cares by now knows it as DotA2 anyway so changing the name won't make much of a difference, other then the Valve losing a battle with Blizzard.
plasmo
Posted 07:16pm 11/2/12
@kos

From Wikipedia:
The first version of Defense of the Ancients was released in 2003 by a mapmaker under the alias of Eul who based the map on a previous StarCraft scenario known as "Aeon of Strife".

The thing is Eul also works at Valve.
plasmo
Posted 07:20pm 11/2/12
eXemplar
Posted 07:54pm 11/2/12
Wrong, they are filing a dispute with the USPTO in opposition of the trademark registration which totally different to a lawsuit and "heading to courts" (facts need to be checked before newsworthy).

last edited by eXemplar at 19:54:46 11/Feb/12
DeadlyDav0
Posted 10:22pm 11/2/12
WTF. 2 first time posters in this thread. Is this that big of a deal?
parabol
Posted 03:28am 12/2/12
The thing is Eul also works at Valve

Been holding onto this for the right moment ...

BladeRunner
Posted 05:19am 12/2/12
Blizzard and Activision are d****, nothing new. One way to settle this is that no one uses DotA and both Valve and Blizz choose different names for their games which I have no interest in.
Twisted
Posted 08:36am 12/2/12
Smells of activision taint.
+1 to that
I'm glad Blizzard finally did this. I never understood how Valve could just take DOTA over without even approaching Blizzard and create a sequel to a game they never had anything to do with. Just feels wrong IMO.
Sounds to me with the DOTA dev's working for them they have more to do with the games creation than Blzzard did other than providing the engine the mod was built on.
konstie
Posted 11:09am 12/2/12
if valve release dota as free to play i think blizzard won't have much of a case
Hogfather
Posted 12:17pm 12/2/12
if valve release dota as free to play i think blizzard won't have much of a case

What does releasing the game FTP have to do with a trademark application?!
Eorl
Posted 12:28pm 12/2/12
What does releasing the game FTP have to do with a trademark application?!

They won't be making a profit, which I believe is Blizzard's case.
Hogfather
Posted 12:32pm 12/2/12
That's not in the link in your OP.

I'm pretty sure that trademark law applies regardless of profit ...
DeadlyDav0
Posted 12:51pm 12/2/12
Doubt it will be FTP. Even HON is now FTP but you get limited heroes and account restrictions. Even when registered, you can spend cash to unlock new heroes early or special skins. In HON's case, FTP is just a trial version IMO.
Outlaw
Posted 01:39pm 12/2/12
Hogfather
Posted 02:30pm 12/2/12
Wasn't there was some commentary a while back regarding the Blizzard's game editor EULAs, to the effect that anything built with it is Blizzard's property?
Eorl
Posted 02:47pm 12/2/12
Wasn't there was some commentary a while back regarding the Blizzard's game editor EULAs, to the effect that anything built with it is Blizzard's property?

It's a license apparently. This will be interesting though, if Valve does get the trademark, I don't see it being that big of a deal. People will just name DOTA clones something else like LoL and HoN did. Ta da, circumnavigated the system.
Hogfather
Posted 03:16pm 12/2/12
It's a license apparently.

Of course its a license? That's what the L in EULA stands for?!
This will be interesting though, if Valve does get the trademark, I don't see it being that big of a deal. People will just name DOTA clones something else like LoL and HoN did. Ta da, circumnavigated the system.

You mean if Valve doesn't get the trademark?
Eorl
Posted 03:34pm 12/2/12
You mean if Valve doesn't get the trademark?

No I mean if Valve does get the trademark. They are pursuing DOTA as a trademark, that's why Blizzard has stepped in to rebut it because they feel it shouldn't be a trademark due to how community wise it is.
Timmeh
Posted 03:39pm 12/2/12
I make something using my own materials = my ownership
I make something using a companies materials = company's Ownership.

what happened to intellectual property?
plasmo
Posted 04:56pm 12/2/12
@Timmeh As like in coding a program in a C++ compiler = the C++ compiler's property?

What happened to logic?
reso
Posted 05:01pm 12/2/12
F2P doesn't mean they won't be looking to make a profit Eorl. If the game wasn't going to be making them money in some way, they wouldn't be making it.
copuis
Posted 05:04pm 12/2/12
in the EULA there is a small line most people miss it simply reads

All you map are belong to us
Hogfather
Posted 06:38pm 12/2/12
@Timmeh As like in coding a program in a C++ compiler = the C++ compiler's property?What happened to logic?

That's not he same; the license to use the software permits you to own deriviative works.

Maps you make with Blizzard editors do not belong to you, and the EULA is very aggressive. If you don't like this then you should mod using a different tool!
F2P doesn't mean they won't be looking to make a profit Eorl. If the game wasn't going to be making them money in some way, they wouldn't be making it.

And even if it were for charity it wouldn't matter. You can't bottle and distribute fake Coca-Cola for charity!
Tollaz0r!
Posted 07:08pm 12/2/12
I wonder if a EULA holds the same in every country?
parabol
Posted 07:23pm 12/2/12
I wonder if a EULA holds the same in every country?

A EULA doesn't automatically hold in the U.S. just because someone agrees to it. It can be argued in court whether it's fair or possible to adhere to, etc.
Bah
Posted 07:34pm 12/2/12
I doubt valve would be the one to challenge the validity of EULA's though.
parabol
Posted 08:14pm 12/2/12
I doubt valve would be the one to challenge the validity of EULA's though.

If it came to it they wouldn't be challenging the validity of "EULAs" in general, but of specific clauses.
carson
Posted 09:26pm 12/2/12
Wasn't the DOTA map created before Blizzard changed their EULA to say all your created content are ours?

I thought that their EULA was updated late last year.
ravn0s
Posted 09:40pm 12/2/12
yeah i think that's what i read somewhere
Eorl
Posted 09:59pm 12/2/12
Wasn't the DOTA map created before Blizzard changed their EULA to say all your created content are ours?I thought that their EULA was updated late last year.

I believe so, but I presume with the newer version afterwards, if there was any, would deem it "under their license".
Outlaw
Posted 10:02pm 12/2/12
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