Blizzard and Valve fight over DOTA

Two of the industry’s most loved, well-known developers are heading for a legal battle over the Defense of the Ancients name.

Ancients, or DOTA as it’s come to be known as, started out as a popular mod of Blizzard’s Warcraft III. But Half-Life developer Valve announced last year that the team would be developing a sequel to the original mod named DOTA 2. At the same time, Blizzard has been developing its own DOTA mod named Blizzard DOTA.

You can probably see where this one is going.

Blizzard has adressed the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board regarding the existence of DOTA 2. The company seeks to have Valve’s trademark application for the DOTA name blocked. It claims that the name has been used by the company and its fans for seven years now.

In an official filing, Blizzard stated: “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.”

Seeing as Warcraft III is required for the original DOTA and that Blizzard has been licensing the name out to other developers for years, the company believes it has more of a right to the trademark than Valve.

If the law agrees remains to be seen.