Blizzard and Valve are two developers who are synonymous with PC gaming. The two are responsible for franchises that represent the pinnacles of their respective genres. You’d be hard-pressed to find a PC gamer out there who doesn’t love at least one of these developers, if not both. Unfortunately they don’t love each other – well, not at the moment at least.
On the 16th of November 2011, Blizzard filed a formal court document requesting that Valve be blocked from trademarking the name DOTA. DOTA II, as you all know, is being developed by Valve despite the game beginning life as a user-made mod for Blizzard’s Warcraft III.
Blizzard was not directly responsible for the birth of DOTA. That being said, the mod wouldn’t exist without Warcraft III. Nevertheless, Valve has been trying to trademark DOTA since 2010, and Blizzard has issued a formal, legal objection.
Blizzard believes that they have far more of a claim to the DOTA trademark than Valve has. The court application documents read:
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.
It’ll be interesting to see where there goes. At present there is still no concrete release date for DOTA 2 other than sometime this year.