Blizzard Appeal Valve’s Right To Register The Dota 2 Trademark
Blizzard has set forward an appeal to US Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board which challenges Valve’s right to use the word “DOTA”.
“Blizzard seeks to prevent registration by its competitor Valve Corporation of a trademark, DOTA, that for more than seven years has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard,” said the creators of Warcraft III in their appeal.
“By virtue of that use, the DOTA mark has become firmly associated in the mind of consumers with Blizzard, including to signify a highly popular scenario or variant of one of Blizzard’s best-selling computer games, Warcraft III. Over the past seven years, the mark DOTA has been used exclusively in connection with Blizzard and its products, namely Warcraft III.”
For many years it seemed as if Blizzard didn’t care much about DOTA and what it entailed. Until, of course, Valve took a step and hired IceFrog for Dota 2. To counter this action, Blizzard has argued that Valve should have no right to the DOTA name or trademark.
In the document, Blizzard noted that Valve “has never used the mark DOTA in connection with any product or service that currently is available to the public” and that “by attempting to register the mark DOTA, Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed”. Blizzard then went on to say that Valve is taking “a name that has come to signify the product of years of time and energy expended by Blizzard and by fans of Warcraft III”.
However, it feels as if Blizzard didn’t spend much time and energy on the project. Well, not as much as the original founders, one of which includes IceFrog who is at Valve. That aside though, it is claimed that in 2008 the rights to DotA Mods and DotA-Allstars was assigned to “DotA-Allstars, LLC.”, a company which was then purchased by Riot Games, Inc. in 2010. Then, following this Blizzard claims that in 2011 Riot Games sold DotA-Allstars, LLC to Blizzard. Due to this, Blizzard now claims to possess the DOTA mark and any goodwill it might include.
Prior to Blizzard acquiring DotA-Allstars, LLC, Valve filed for the trademark on DOTA. Therefore, Blizzard only acquired rights to DotA-Allstars and the possible chance to the name a year after Valve owned the trademark for DOTA.
Despite this however, Blizzard has stated that “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.”
Most players understand that Warcraft III is only a portal for DOTA. And they understand the jump to Valve and what it entails. After all, DOTA is more of a specialised game with a wide player-base who is very up to date with the happenings in that very industry.
DOTA stands for Defence of the Ancients, whereas the “DOTA” in DOTA 2 does not stand for that. There was no new meaning put forward for DOTA 2, therefore it’s just DOTA 2.
Valve has responded to Blizzard regarding the appeal. They have denied most accusations against them. Read the two notices side-by-side as Valve replies directly paragraph to paragraph.
The issue should be resolved by 2013.