Blizzard challenging Valve's 'Dota' trademark

Developer claiming rights to the name of the popular fan-made online multiplayer game created using official mod tools for Warcraft III.

It's not exactly Warcraft vs. Half-Life, but Blizzard and Valve are crossing swords over the rights to use the term "DOTA" for an upcoming game.

This guy is from Dota 2, though that might change if Blizzard has its way.

As discovered by a poster on NeoGAF, Blizzard filed a notice of opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office last November over Valve's claim on a trademark for DOTA.

The DOTA name comes from a Warcraft III mod called Defense of the Ancients. In its opposition, Blizzard states that the DOTA name "for more than seven years has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard" and that Valve filed its trademark on the name "in order to confuse consumers as to Blizzard's sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of Valve's products."

According to the opposition, "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."

In Valve's response, the company claims that Blizzard cannot claim exclusive rights to the name and that its own rights to Dota are senior to any claims made by Blizzard.

Both Blizzard and Valve are working on follow-ups to the original DOTA. The self-explanatory Blizzard DOTA is being built on the Starcraft II engine and will feature some of the developer's iconic characters as heroes in the game. That title was rebooted entirely last year and has no release date as of yet.

On the other hand, Valve's Dota 2 is being rushed to market with the company's plans for a year-long beta and full-featured launch scaled back so that it can be released "as soon as possible."

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93 comments
ryafel
ryafel

As a software developer myself. I think the rights for the name should be bought from the creators of the map and also a very small percentage to blizzard. I would not like creating a free game and have someone leach the name to make money. Also blizzard should get a very small percent because the original game was made with licensed warcraft 3 characters and worlds. This is just my personal opinion

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

Well I haven't gotten to play either of the two games. I think they should both me called dota... I mean, why not?

IevildirkI
IevildirkI

Dota2 is really sick and looks awesome ive been playing it a lot i promise everybody it's addicting and pretty balanced already

vadagar1
vadagar1

did Blizzard make DOTA... no then they should stfu and leave valve alone. honestly they are sounding like greedy nagging Aholes to me. so Bliz DOTA sucked hard, let Valve try and maybe they can get it right...

ailingfeng
ailingfeng

@hirest-gree Dude for guys who dont even know, please stop flaming and trolling. Dota 2 beta currently has more than half the heroes available in the original game. Dota 2 beta also has weekly updates that not only improve interface and game content but also improving its servers stability. What it sounds like to me is that your just jealous that you have not received a beta key. And microtransations, honestly? Icefrog has been the developer for Dota 2 and what makes u think that he would allow Valve to carry out such a system for a game that he has dedicated for years? Its likely that Dota 2 will be completely free. So until u actually learnt some facts, stop trolling a game with a great development team and potential.

hirest-gree
hirest-gree

Honestly, I can't stand Valve. They always leach. Steam is simply a platform to leach money off of other peoples productions. Their Orange Box set is all leaching and I'm not even mentioning how much they are milking Team Fortress. And now they are trying to rush a Dota release.C'mon, dota was unique because it was not produced by a money-hounding corporation. All that Valve is doing with Dota 2 is reskinning the original game on an average (at best) engine. The Dota 2 beta is a mess. For those who do not know, there are about one third of the original heros in the game. And these heros are all rushed. I'm aware it is a beta, however, a lot of simple bugs should have been ironed out long before beta testing. What do you think will happen when Valve releases Dota 2 with less than half the heros? They will probably set up their new favorite business model, microtransations. The one payment system that destroys every game's essence. Anyways, for all you Valve fanboys, I'm sick of it. Blizzard has a lot more resources and experience to work with, it should be Blizzard making the second Dota. Valve is the Wal-mart of the gaming industry. They do not innovate, read about it, they leach ideas, often from indy developers, and profit.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

If Valve did not try to steal and own the DOTA name, Blizzard wouldn't be bothered. I do think it is wrong for Valve to try to take the name for themselves when it has been enjoyed by the Warcraft 3 community for such a long time.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@Darnasian its true TF2 is becoming bit of a money cow, i played the game when it released with orange box, and it does seem like its turning into a cash guzzler, with value placed on items and less on skill of the player...i stopped playing when the store came out, and returned once every now n then to check on things but im not really happy with it anymore....but thats just tf2 Perhaps its out of loyalty, but i still believe they are a gamer-first company, steam facilitates alot of indie games, imo they are the true innovators in this industry at this point, people who dont re-wrap last years hit and ask full price....anybody remember the price of episode 1 or 2 for HL2.... now compare that to CoD 60$ every time! and nothing changes... Valve may be turning a leaf in the wrong direction with this tf2 item store BS, but they are head and shoulders above alot of the other companies still. Just because Icefrog didnt trademark it, doesnt mean anything at this point, blizzard could be suing any mapmaker by your logic... blizzard has tacitly approved all of Icefrogs stuff and his valve involvement, even when he joined valve with dota in hand... imo it will be hard to argue it one way or another, it will prolly be settled out of court after lengthy and fruitless sessions

kuda001
kuda001

This has Kotick written all over it.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Why did Blizzard wait so long to make such claims? Valve trademarked the name last year, and Blizzard even announced there own back then too. Why didn't they try to do something back then? Also, Blizzard didn't put any time or energy into the original DOTA mod as claimed in this article. And one thing that has been racking my brain for year is why didn't Blizzard hire the guy behind DOTA, buy the name, and make a DOTA 2 themselves. It's not like they haven't got the money/resources to do it, and they have had more than enough time.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@Utahraptor_ Yeah I know... But he came with the concept...he needed help when it came with the editing... The concept was his that's why he is the most renowned of all... Know what I mean?

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

@Darnasian Adding to your correct comments, IceFrog did NOT create DOTA by himself. He and a few other gamers contributed to the creation of DOTA.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@SauhlGood Never had anything against Valve and never disliked them...I do like Valve in some way but I think even though they create big titles they still remain money suckers like very developer you find now on the market...just look at TF2 in game item prices and the amount of uses u have for each... And I have nothing against u being fans of Valve... But be serious...many people here just want Valve to succeed because they like the company not necessarily DotA... And check again...IceFrog was no Valve employee when he created DotA using WC3 tools and he never trademarked the name...

oskuuu
oskuuu

well this took longer than expected, was waiting this fight to start like 1/2 year ago; and i already thought that blizz really didn't care, but seems like they just had to start acting like pricks when theres money to be made from something that isn't legally theirs :evil:

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@Darnasian check again hes employed by valve.. in fact i remember reading a GS article touting Valve's involvement... just wiki Icefrog and what if some of us are valve fanboys?! it seems to me like theyre the last developer whos gamer-orientated... and dont have a raging boner for sockholders and dividends my fandom of valve is well deserved i dont throw my support behind many devs' because they just produce yesterdays hits with new curtains/drappery... but Valve thuroughly deserves to be praised.

steveguttenberg
steveguttenberg

Two publishers are fighting over the rights to something neither of them came up with?

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Whatever, I don't really like DOTA Mod anyway :roll: Publishers should acknowledge many other good/potential MODs from the community (Left4Dead, Portal, Day Of Defeat, and recently Dear Esther, is a good example if MODs could become a potential IP, if It's done right.) rather than claiming 1 cookie-cutter MOD... ;)

jollybest1
jollybest1

@moonlightwolf01 YES Valve knows how to evolve and were to find new blood ...And the modding community is one of the best sources .....L4D is a great example , great game created by ex modders that work at Valve now, Counter Strike started as mod for Half Life

jollybest1
jollybest1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jamyskis
jamyskis

A classic example of everything that is wrong with the industry.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@FuryX-4 Why not in a DotA game to make it better since they fight over the DotA name XD

Darnasian
Darnasian

@jollybest1 It's all about the money , power , control , fame and owning the rights for one of the greatest modes ever that slowly begins to become a genre...

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

Considering DOTA was a mod built using unofficial mod tools, and built by players not a blizzard Dev team I don't really see where they get off claiming its theirs. They didn't have the idea, they didn't provide the tools that made it and they only recognised it as anything other than a mod after valve recruited its creator and began working on a sequel. Valve have a long history of recognising and recruiting talented modders many of them who bring their mods along with them, Dota is just the next counterstrike or team fortress, Blizzard should learn from this and think about adopting a similar policy not try to grab a bit of extra cash.

david1230
david1230

Every really read what @Utahraptor_ wrote. There is so much truth behind that statement which is truth more then opinions i dont give a sh*t if blizzard claims they created DOTA they didn't, regular joe smoe made it from the WC3 game mod, they should NEVER be allowed to claim something that another human has spent their hard earn days and time to make and guess whats even worse about this. They (Blizzard) claim they made the mod, well then if it continues if we speak something on a forum to help improve the game and they do it can we at least get credit in the game if your going to blantently steal our ideas that we create using your game's modification opinions, Fuc* greedy corps down with corruption destroy them all until they do the will of us.

toddx77
toddx77

As soon as Activision noticed people were excited about DOTA 2 they said "hmmm looks like that mod was rather popular time to act like we give a rats @$$ to get some of that money"

Utahraptor_
Utahraptor_

As a Warcraft 3 gamer, I recall that gamers modified WC3 to make Defense of the Ancients. I think Blizzard claims all rights over WC3 and its modifications, but that's a lousy law. The real inventors of DOTA were WC3 gamers. Patents SHOULD go to the real inventor(s). Neither Blizzard nor Valve should have exclusive ownership over the "DOTA" name.

FuryX-4
FuryX-4

If they are fighting for trademark, why not fight like Mojang-Bethesda battle over "Scrolls" with Quake 3? :P

Pete5506
Pete5506

This most definitely sounds like Activision

jollybest1
jollybest1

Blizzard you s******.........these type of games are growing HON , League of Legends and others are beginning to be profitable and ACTI s**t Blizz comes and starts a war for some reason just to show their muscles...Blizzard never cared about DOTA why start now......Typical

X-RS
X-RS

They might as well both use the tittle "QUOTA".

TheDarkNut
TheDarkNut

I side with Valve. Blizzard never give a damn with the Warcraft III Dota mod. Now they realized that they F up and thus the complaint. Did Blizzard ever held a Dota tournament? Or atleast a spot in Blizzcon? No.

Lhomity
Lhomity

There was no issue until Valve decided to trademark 'Dota'. I've been following this story for a while, elsewhere on the webs, and I believe this was a dickmove by Valve, who have no right to claim Dota belongs to them. They can go ahead and make a Dota 2 if they want, but "Dota" does not belong to them. Never did.

Link3301
Link3301

@Decessus Which is why he is saying that this could be Activision's doing. Blizzard already stated that they don't care whether or not Valve uses DotA or not. Activision probably saw an opportunity to screw over that competition and take control of DotA.

Decessus
Decessus

@GIXX3R They are the same company.

juliano001
juliano001

If we let the companies grab and register all the names they think they can, soon we will need another dictionary. Its becoming ridiculous.

Panda-Pat
Panda-Pat

I honestly dont care.....I just want an INVITE to DOTA 2....whos with me?

sidzero
sidzero

Hey look, Blizzard is proving their standing as being a symbol of everything that's wrong with capitalism, within the game industry... AGAIN. Almost a decade strong now with this (anyone else remember FreeCraft?). All I can say, is that depending on how Valve handles it (fight or flight), will greatly influence my currently low opinion of them.

GIXX3R
GIXX3R

I don't think this is Blizzard speaking... It's Activision.

eaterofsouls2
eaterofsouls2

Let both companies use DOTA. They both have relations with the term. Blizzard DOTA or DOTA 2. Take your pick.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

@eaterofsouls2 the only reason that Dota even around it because of Eul and he again works for Valve. -_-

sortajan
sortajan

If anyone else needed proof that Blizzard has fallen from "grace," this is it.

eaterofsouls2
eaterofsouls2

@Jestersmiles Key word is "subgenre" DOTA stands for defense of the ancients which is a sub RTS genre. HoN and LoL follow the formula. It really shouldnt belong to blizzard either. Both companies are making games with DOTA in the title as well.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

@eaterofsouls2 if Eul and icefrog want to name it Dota 2 it shall be named Dota 2. period

eaterofsouls2
eaterofsouls2

Anyone else agree DOTA should be a subgenre rather than a trademark? Why is Valve even bothering? Just gonna cause business troubles. :/

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

@justinka777 thank you for putting up some actual facts unlike some blizzard fanbot here. :)

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

i love that they (blizzard) takes all this time to officially file a claim, it just sounds like there sore that valve had a good decision and scooped up this ip before blizzard did and are mad that it wont be padding their coffers, i side with valve

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

Please since when does blizzard cared about dota? oh that right , when valve showed you can make some money out of it. Seriously gtfo Blizz and the damn blizz fan bot under me. Dota belongs to Eul and Icefrog who both work for Valve now.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@reBOOT2099 Thanks for backing up the facts I pointed... I admit I'm a HUGE fan of Blizzard since I was 7 years old and played most of their games... But I posted a lot here because mostly here are JUST Valve fans and they are blinded because they want Valve to succeed with this project... The thing is...other DotA style games that succeeded never used or needed the DotA name on the cover...so Valve may as well change the name and get out of trouble... For example League Of Legends and Heroes of Newerth... Both great DotA genre games that succeeded and make a lot of money and even more they are free 2 play... I think not only Valve but Blizzard too can learn a few management tricks from other companies...

eaterofsouls2
eaterofsouls2

Im for blizzard on this one. As long as they don't try to copyright the name themselves. DOTA should be a "free use" term. Its a type of game NOT a franchise. If anyone has proof blizzard wants to keep it for themselves I'd like to see it. Valve has no right making it theirs alone.

pez2k_
pez2k_

You do realise that the money given to Valve for games to be published on Steam is a direct analogue of the money normally given to a publisher and/or disc pressing and distribution firms, right? It's not like it costs MORE to publish a game on Steam than physically. Hardly 'leeching'.