Valve revealed its plans to develop the Dota 2 title back in 2010, but the Dota name has become the center of a new legal action between Valve and Blizzard. With Dota 2, Valve intended to trademark the Dota name, something that has been associated with Blizzard games for more than seven years as the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III.

By this Opposition, Blizzard seeks to prevent registration by its competitor Valve Corporation ("Valve") of a trademark, DOTA, that for more than seven years has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard. 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. Most notably, DOTA has been used as the popular name of a Warcraft III software "mod" file that has been distributed, marketed, and promoted by Blizzard and its fans (under license from Blizzard); that utilizes and is built upon the Warcraft III game engine, interface, and gameplay mechanics; that is comprised of Warcraft III characters, items, spells, artwork, textures, and color palates; that can be played only using Warcraft III software and via Blizzard's online service ; and whose name (DOTA, an acronym for "Defense of the Ancients") is a reference to Warcraft III characters known as the "Ancients.".

In the filing dated from November last year and posted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Blizzard explains that the Dota name has been used by its community for more than seven years and is firmly associated by fans with Blizzard. Blizzard further claims that by seeking to trademark the Dota name, Valve is seeking to appropriate years of work by its fans and goodwill from Blizzard.

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’s unclear if Blizzard would like to trademark the Dota name for itself or just keep it open for the community to use as it has been, but it is clear that they are opposed to it being granted to Valve.

If Valve is granted registration of the DOTA mark, it would obtain a prima facie exclusive right to use of its mark that would cause damage and injury to Blizzard. WHEREFORE, Blizzard respectfully requests that this Opposition be granted and that Application No. 85/102245 be denied registration.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Case File: Dota Notice of Opposition

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Stacy "Martuk" Jones was a long-time news editor and community manager for many of our previous game sites, such as Age of Conan. Stacy has since moved on to become a masked super hero, battling demons in another dimension.