Blizzard open case over Valve using Dota Trademark

Sliver

Companion Cube
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
34
Blizzard has opened a lawsuit suing Valve for their use of the name Dota in their upcoming game Dota 2. Dota, of course, is short for "Defence of the Ancients," a very popular Warcraft 3 map, which spawned the large amounts of MOBA games now available.[br] The original news story can be found here, and the lawsuit here.[br]Editors note: To clarify, Blizzard are not formally suing Valve but requesting Valve be denied the registration of the DotA (or similar) trademarks. Several issues come to light here including the ownership of the DotA map itself which was made in the Warcraft 3 world editor and requires the acceptance of a EULA which claims all content made is owned by Blizzard.
 

V-Man339

Space Core
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
1,848
Reaction score
11
I can't help but feel that this would have been a lot less likely to happen if Blizzard and Activision weren't in each other's check books. Doesn't hurt that they apparently waited until development was pretty much done, having made several comments that they were okay with it.
 

Zips

Spy
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
So let me get this straight. Defense of the Ancients is the name of the Warcraft mod. It becomes popular and fans abbreviate it to DOTA. Blizzard has nothing to do with the mod aside from making the base game that fans created the mod off of.

DOTA, as it is under Valve's usage is not technically an abbreviation but the actual name of a game. By what rights does Blizzard actually believe they have any case here?
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
1,704
Reaction score
6
I hope Valve wins.
Blizzard has no rights to Dota. It was never their creation.(Even though they have sold many copies of WC3 because of it)

This is absurd. An equivalent would be Valve suing Unknown Worlds for making Natural Selection 2 because the original was a HL1 mod. :/
 

Zips

Spy
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
By the fact that they want money?
They're with Activision, so of course they want money. The point is, this does not seem like a case they have any legal right to.
 

V-Man339

Space Core
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
1,848
Reaction score
11
Valve owns the trademark for DOTA right now. It will end short and sweet, regardless of the fact that this was filed 4 months ago.
Even though it was under Blizzard license, they never actually bought up the ip for it.
Whats even sadder is the fact they're trying to shut down Valve's Dota in favor of the upcoming Blizzard DOTA filled with licensed characters, and things they can sue to protect, where there will be a membership based payment plan so they can profit even more. Something tells me this isn't so much about any real ownership as it is enforcing a potential monopoly on something they could make shitloads of money on.
 

Zips

Spy
Joined
May 13, 2004
Messages
105
Reaction score
0
I sort of feel as though they're doing this to try and tie up Valve in a legal battle that will force them to hold back on releasing Dota 2. This then gives Blizzard time to catch up with the development on their own MOBA game. It's either they're thinking they have a legitimate case here (which they don't) or they know they'll lose but in the process, it chews up a ton of time and quite possibly delays Dota 2's final release even more.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
162
Reaction score
1
Never been a fan of Blizzard, but I can't understand why Valve had to claim the trademark for a mod made on another game and that Blizzard claims to have intentionally left out there.
DOTA2 has only one of the devs that worked opn the orriginal and its just a cheap trick to use the name for extra revenue?
 
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
559
Reaction score
0
Never been a fan of Blizzard, but I can't understand why Valve had to claim the trademark for a mod made on another game and that Blizzard claims to have intentionally left out there.
DOTA2 has only one of the devs that worked opn the orriginal and its just a cheap trick to use the name for extra revenue?
Hardly the case. Dota is nearly mathematically identical to the original. Exact same map, exact same heroes with the exact same moves, in a new engine with modern features. By no means is it a knock-off just using the name for profit. Its truly a modern iteration of the same game.
 

Kadayi

Newbie
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Messages
6,035
Reaction score
0
TBH I really don't understand why Valve didn't rename the game to something else other than DoTA2 tbh. However saying that Activision might as well try and claim 'capture the flag' is a game mode exclusive to them also.
 

Link

Tank
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Messages
2,446
Reaction score
1
I think a lot of people are getting hung up on the trademark side of things - Trademarks are not designed to protect the owning business, but to protect the consumer. For example, Coca-Cola might use thier trademark to sue someone selling another drink in such a way as people might think they are buying real coca-cola, when they are not. It dosen't give the company all encompassing control of the words - for example, if I was to produce a drink and call it - "This is not coca-cola, but it tastes quite a lot like it" then yes, coca-cola probably would sue, but in theory they shouldn't win...

The point I'm making is that just because Valve has a trademark on Dota 2, it does not mean that it is a perfect shield from blizzards attacks - given the amount of prior usage, it is unlikley that the trademark will last long in court.

That shouldn't matter mind you. From everything I've seen, Blizzards suit is baseless, and all it does is expose them as a petty company that I want nothing to do with.
 

Rossell

Newbie
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
566
Reaction score
0
Blizzard are trying to be arseholes because Valve capitalized on it first.

If they win, someone took a backhander.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
BLizzard didnt even creat dota icefrog did it why they are crying without icefrog nobody will open warcraft 3
 

Hectic Glenn

Site Director
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Messages
12,233
Reaction score
238
I think it's because they don't get a piece of the pie with Valve picking it up and Blizzard can now see the potential on an e-sports level that Valve has opened up. It seemed almost that since Valve did pick it up, only then Blizzard began taking Dota more seriously with that Blizzard Dota game which looks like a SC2 mod. Still Blizzard never owned any rights to it, it would be the equivalent of Valve suing Blizzard if they were start developing Natural Selection 2 on one of their own engines. Valve never bought the IP so it would be fair game.
 

ríomhaire

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
20,874
Reaction score
414
BLizzard didnt even creat dota icefrog did it why they are crying without icefrog nobody will open warcraft 3
Icefrog did not create DotA.

This is ludicrous anyway. Blizzard have no more right to Dota than Id/Zenimax has to Team Fortress or Valve have to Natural Selection. I can see someone making a case that Valve shouldn't have the rights to the name Dota, but Blizzard certainly aren't the rightful owners.`

Edit: And people asking why did Valve keep the name Dota. Well two reasons:
1) It's basically all the same characters and abilities and everything as DotA: Allstars with much less changed than LoL and HoN.
2) Brand recognition is a huge deal. It gives them a huge advantage in making it sound like the official follow up to the mod DotA instead of spinoff like LoL or HoN.
 

Link

Tank
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Messages
2,446
Reaction score
1
TBH I really don't understand why Valve made this DoTA thing.
You don't understand why one of the most succesfull game companies of all time wants to remake one of the most popular mods, if not multiplayer games, of all time? The answer is quite simple - it will make an utterly staggering amount of money...
 

MuToiD_MaN

The Freeman
Joined
Nov 5, 2004
Messages
4,513
Reaction score
227
Don't care about DotA, but this move of Blizzard really sucks.

Actually, this does raise a good question: Does Valve have any more right to trademark the Dota name than Blizzard does?
 

Edeslash

Party Escort Bot
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Messages
607
Reaction score
70
Sure makes Blizzard look like the saviors of the industry. What a great move!
 

Tagaziel

Party Escort Bot
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,085
Reaction score
23
I think a lot of people are getting hung up on the trademark side of things - Trademarks are not designed to protect the owning business, but to protect the consumer. For example, Coca-Cola might use thier trademark to sue someone selling another drink in such a way as people might think they are buying real coca-cola, when they are not. It dosen't give the company all encompassing control of the words - for example, if I was to produce a drink and call it - "This is not coca-cola, but it tastes quite a lot like it" then yes, coca-cola probably would sue, but in theory they shouldn't win...

The point I'm making is that just because Valve has a trademark on Dota 2, it does not mean that it is a perfect shield from blizzards attacks - given the amount of prior usage, it is unlikley that the trademark will last long in court.

That shouldn't matter mind you. From everything I've seen, Blizzards suit is baseless, and all it does is expose them as a petty company that I want nothing to do with.
Trademarks don't protect the consumer. They protect the merchandise and its creator by giving them an exclusive right to use a specific name for a specific product.

Facts about trademark law aside (I've researched it a lot a while back, when Wikia was attempting to strongarm The Vault into leaving the brand name for their Fallout Wiki), Blizzard quite simply doesn't have a case here. They've had full knowledge of Dota2, of what it is and why it is named as such. Since they never reacted until now, the court is definitely going to rule in Valve's favour, as it's clear that it's not about protecting a trademark Blizzard never owned in the first place, but delaying Valve's game as much as possible.
 

Kadayi

Newbie
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Messages
6,035
Reaction score
0
TBH I really don't understand why Valve made this DoTA thing.
I'm with you on that score for sure.

Having a bit of a legal head, I had a good perusal of the document. Principally their issue is that using the name DoTA 2 is trading off the reputation of a mod which takes leads from the warcraft IP that they have supported over the years and subsequently Valve shouldn't be allowed the trademark the name because it's building off their efforts. They're not attempting to stop Valve from producing the game, but they are attempting for force then to rename it to something which doesn't tie back into Warcraft 3. Albeit I've not played WC3 the 'ancients' are seemingly part of the games mythology and Blizzards contention is that by leveraging it through the title, they are effectively exploiting that connection. From a legal perspective I'd kind of say they do have a reasonably legitimate argument. It's like if EA launched an FPS 'Call to duty:BF3', Activision would no doubt file a complaint along the lines of close similarity to 'call of duty' and that the public could be deceived into thinking that they were buying a Call of duty' franchise title. It's a bit more sketchy with DoTA obviously, but there is a clear association between DoTA & Warcraft 3. As I said earlier on it boggles my mind why Valve would go with 'DoTA2' as a title in the first place anyway. They could of come up with their own title and it would no doubt be as popular as it is now given their marketing machine.
 

Tollbooth Willie

The Freeman
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
17,506
Reaction score
801
Isn't it just one person who worked on DOTA who works at Icefrog? What about the others who created it? Don't believe Valve or Blizzard should have the right to the DOTA name.
 
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
70
Since they never reacted until now, the court is definitely going to rule in Valve's favour
Has 0 bearing on a trademark case. You can sue someone 25 million years later if you can legitimately prove they stole your trademark or that their trademark could be confused with yours.

warcraft IP that they have supported over the years and subsequently Valve shouldn't be allowed the trademark the name because it's building off their efforts.
They have supported Warcraft, but they never in any capacity supported Dota to the best of my knowledge.

Isn't it just one person who worked on DOTA who works at Icefrog? What about the others who created it? Don't believe Valve or Blizzard should have the right to the DOTA name.
The inventor of Dota was Guinsoo, who works at Riot. The main supporter/guy who worked on Dota most is Icefrog, who sort of works for Valve.
 

ríomhaire

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
20,874
Reaction score
414
Isn't it just one person who worked on DOTA who works at Icefrog? What about the others who created it? Don't believe Valve or Blizzard should have the right to the DOTA name.
The original developer was Eul, then it passed to Guinsoo and now to Icefrog. Icefrog and Eul have been hired by Valve and Guinsoo works for Riot who make League of Legends.
 
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
70
Eul did little more than port Aeon of Strife, not sure why he was worth hiring.
 

Tollbooth Willie

The Freeman
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
17,506
Reaction score
801
The original developer was Eul, then it passed to Guinsoo and now to Icefrog. Icefrog and Eul have been hired by Valve and Guinsoo works for Riot who make League of Legends.
Ah, alright. I don't see Activision holding up well in court.
 

Kadayi

Newbie
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Messages
6,035
Reaction score
0
They have supported Warcraft, but they never in any capacity supported Dota to the best of my knowledge.
It's not about 'support' it's about the inherent associations of DoTA with warcraft 3 as that mod draws from the warcraft IP. Blizzard contest that Valve by naming their game 'DoTA2' are effectively blindsiding people who maybe aware of Dota into thinking that Dota2 is somehow Blizzard approved/sanctioned and warcraft 3 related. I recommend a read through of the documentation as tbh, it's not imposible to understand (surprisingly straight talking for a legal document tbh). However the following are important points in their position: -

5. The Warcraft Games are known for their deep and detailed mythology,
which is present in each of the games. All of the Warcraft Games take place in the
mythical world of Azeroth, which is populated by an enormous variety of distinctive
mythical creatures, including a race of sentient, god-like trees known as the "Ancients."
The "Ancients" are prominent and recurring characters in the Warcraft Games and the
Warcraft "universe" as a whole.
11. Among the most popular Warcraft III mods is "Defense of the Ancients,"
commonly referred to, and known by consumers, as "DotA," "Dota," and "DOTA"
(collectively, "DotA"). DotA is a Warcraft III scenario (or "map") that allows players to
5 play a version of Warcraft III in which they compete against each other using various
Warcraft III characters, spells, and items. The title "Defense of the Ancients," or
"DotA," is a reference to the Warcraft III characters known as the "Ancients," since the
primary objective of the game is to either defend or destroy (depending upon which team
the player is on) the Ancient known as the Tree of Life.
Where in Blizzard are highlighting the association between the games title and how it relates to the warcraft IP which they own.
 
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
70
Except I was quoting you because you made the false assertion that they financially supported it. I said nothing about associations.

Trademarks are earned not born. They come into being through actual use. Trademarks are an alliance of law and marketing. If there are no prior rights attached to a name, phrase, design or logo, you may be able to asset trademark rights in that particular. That is, the first person to use a word, or symbol in connection with the sale of goods or services may across state lines. Trademarks are protected under both federal and state law. You do not have to register a trademark to have it protected, although there are advantages to doing so (e.g., exclusive nationwide ownership of a mark). By using a "mark" on or in connection with goods, or displaying it in connection with services offered, you can acquire trademark rights.
They have ZERO basis for arguing it from a financial standpoint as they NEVER OWNED NOR SUPPORTED NOR ACKNOWLEDGED the mark. Blizzard sat on their ass, Valve gobbled it up, and now they're pissed about it.

Yes, they are going to argue that Valve's ownership of the name is a violation of consumer goodwill. That is their only legal angle. They will spend their entire case proving that in the average consumer's mind, Dota is completely associated with Blizzard. Their lawyers will have to prove a question of fact, not of law. The latter is more difficult and complicated to prove.
 

Link

Tank
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Messages
2,446
Reaction score
1
Trademarks don't protect the consumer. They protect the merchandise and its creator by giving them an exclusive right to use a specific name for a specific product.

Facts about trademark law aside (I've researched it a lot a while back, when Wikia was attempting to strongarm The Vault into leaving the brand name for their Fallout Wiki), Blizzard quite simply doesn't have a case here. They've had full knowledge of Dota2, of what it is and why it is named as such. Since they never reacted until now, the court is definitely going to rule in Valve's favour, as it's clear that it's not about protecting a trademark Blizzard never owned in the first place, but delaying Valve's game as much as possible.
Trademarks are designed to protect the consumer from purchasing goods or services from one entity, believing it to be another entity - this is why the "Idiot in a hurry" test is often used to test it. Its used by trademark owners to sue people using trademarked marketing/slogans etc - which is how it is designed to be enforced. However, I was talking about the intent of the law, not the end application.
 

ríomhaire

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
20,874
Reaction score
414
Eul did little more than port Aeon of Strife, not sure why he was worth hiring.
Well it might help them get some legitimacy for trademarking the name, seeing as they have the guy who came up with it. Anyway, they may not have even hired him for his work on DotA, has he done anything else? From the little digging I've done he seemed to have been already working at Valve before they even considered making Dota 2.
 
Top