Blizzard taking Valve to court over Dota Trademark
In a world where trademarks and copyrights are a dime a dozen, two companies continue to fight over the ownership of a single word, “Dota”. In pursuit of such ownership, Blizzard has decided to take Valve to court over the trademark issue at hand.
Blizzard has filed a Notice of Opposition with the US Patent and Trademark Office to halt Valve’s attempts (in the form of Dota 2) to register the word as its own. They claim that the word has been used exclusively to refer to a mod of Blizzard’s game, Warcraft III.
“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.”
The document also claims that Valve hasn’t used the word for anything yet, unless of course you count that whole Dota 2 development and beta release thing.
Reportedly though, Blizzard is implementing a hefty amount of Warcraft III history into the documentation of the filing, assumedly to prove the point that the word is in fact theirs. In any case, I’m not sure if the name belongs to any one company, outside of the individual who invented it. However, that’s a completely different story in itself.
If the case swings in favor of one company or doesn’t get resolved quickly, what does this mean for the release of both games this year?
As JC Fletcher of Joystiq so perfectly words it:
“We hope this court proceeding doesn’t delay either of the games, as those companies are quite capable of delaying their games on their own.”
If you really want a thorough understanding of the DOTA and its history as a franchise/series/genre/community, definitely check out All Your History are Belong to Us, Machinima’s incredibly popular show about video game history.