Blizzard Throws Down With Valve Over DOTA Trademark

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Siding with blizz on this one. Dota was the warcraft 3 community. I played it, and considered it part of my battle.net and warcraft 3 experience. it was awesome how many great games were on the free battle.net

If Valve trademarks "Dota" and Blizzard releases "Blizzard Dota" for SC2, then Valve can sue them (and very likely win). By trying to block Valves trademark now, Blizzard is protecting themselves from that.

The only other option would be for Blizzard to leave the Dota name to Valve and rename Blizzard Dota to something else.... which would be very stupid....

Blizzard own Defence of the Ancients, commonly abbrieviated to DOTA. Valve are trying to claim the rights to the name DOTA. Unless we have legal experts here I don't see how we can get real discussion from this, I don't know who to side with. On one hand Valve aren't claiming the Defence of the Ancients name as far as I can see but on the other hand everyone knows it started with Warcraft 3 and as far as I know that makes it Blizzard property.

Shelliac:

Come on, DOTA team, speak up. They're messing with your baby!

from what little i've found out, one of them actually works for valve now.

Pearwood:
Blizzard own Defence of the Ancients, commonly abbrieviated to DOTA. Valve are trying to claim the rights to the name DOTA. Unless we have legal experts here I don't see how we can get real discussion from this, I don't know who to side with. On one hand Valve aren't claiming the Defence of the Ancients name as far as I can see but on the other hand everyone knows it started with Warcraft 3 and as far as I know that makes it Blizzard property.

erm ... might i inquire how blizzard owns the rights to, or can even make a reasonable claim to own a fan made mod?

I have an idea! get one of the original devs of DOTA to copyright it for himself, and then just let Valve have it! I'm sure that the original devs have a better case than either of the 2 companies!(I have no idea how these copyright laws work!)

Kitsuna10060:

erm ... might i inquire how blizzard owns the rights to, or can even make a reasonable claim to own a fan made mod?

Well it was made on their programme to run specifically on their game and I seem to remember their EULA covering this. But like I said, Valve isn't trademarking Defence of the Ancients they're trademarking DOTA so I don't know who to side with on this one.

Not sure how to feel about this, Valve shouldn't be filing for the patent in the first place. Even if they have the developers of the original mod on their pay roll. But then Blizzard has no real rights to the game either. Although I understand that they simply don't want valve to have the IP.

This is the problem with mods. When they get successful enough to be bought and sold, who owns them? The mod team who developed them? The original SDK developers?

There's no clear cut answer and personally I think this kind of litigation stifles creativity.

HobbesMkii:

Kopikatsu:

HobbesMkii:
This seems kinda like BS to me. Blizzard doesn't own DotA. It's a mod. It's the property of the mod's creator(s). If I make guitars, I don't own the music that other people write while using my guitar. If Blizzard's in the right, then Epic is owed some dough for Red Orchestra given that it was conceived and originally only playable on Unreal Tournament. Valve just knows how to recognize good modding, so they pay people who make good mods to make good games. Blizzard's just being an idiot, and trying to prevent Valve from releasing their game as part of an existing IP.

I should point out that Red Orchestra and RO2 were both made by Tripwire Interactive. VALVe didn't make DotA, just DotA 2.

Right, but IceFrog, the last official developer behind DotA, is employed by Valve to make DotA 2. Therefore, it's about as official as it can be. The way I see it, Blizzard is planning to release a Blizzard DOTA mod for Starcraft II and doesn't want Valve to benefit from any potential positive IP development that might cause.

DOTA was made with Blizzards creation tool, DOTA models are re-skinned warcraft models, dota and it's inspiration were both made on Blizzard games, when someone says DOTA they think of the Warcraft 3 and WC3 TFT mods. Not valve's new game, and getting people to change hurts blizzard.

Kopikatsu:
You know, I know that people are going to complain about Blizzard because VALVe can do no wrong, but I think that Blizzard is in the right here.

I mean...DotA is their thing. I don't think it ever wasn't their thing.

DotA wasn't Blizzard's thing. It was a mod, and hence Icefrog's/Guinsoo's. Guinsoo went to LoL, Icefrog decided to take up Valve's offer. Fair is fair, and Blizzard technically holds no legal control over the Dota franchise, especially since Valve already secured a trademark on it.

I really don't get why people hate on Valve simply because it adopts mods. Isn't that a -good- thing? People get jobs, more refined games and their interesting ideas hit further mainstream, while one of the best gaming companies score a profit to continue to do their own thing. And yes, like it or not, for the most part -good- thing.

It was a extremely douchebaggey move of Valve to pull this shit. I always thought Blizzard never tried to claim DOTA because hey, it was fan made and Blizzard did not feel they owned the title.
For Valve to just snatch it from the fans under Blizzards nose was a real dick move. And to call it DOTA 2 like they actually made a DOTA 1.

Long story short. I really hope Blizzard nails em to the wall for this.

Let DOTA remain fan property and smack Gabe in the face for being a dick.

Monkeyman O'Brien:
It was a extremely douchebaggey move of Valve to pull this shit. I always thought Blizzard never tried to claim DOTA because hey, it was fan made and Blizzard did not feel they owned the title.
For Valve to just snatch it from the fans under Blizzards nose was a real dick move. And to call it DOTA 2 like they actually made a DOTA 1.

Long story short. I really hope Blizzard nails em to the wall for this.

Let DOTA remain fan property and smack Gabe in the face for being a dick.

Yeah. Lets let DotA continue being severely limited by the War 3 map maker and engine, with shitty graphics. But at least it will be a 'fan property' instead of a well developed title that will garner even more popularity and players than the War 3 Bnet currently has. Seriously, have you logged onto that place any time recent? It's fucking approaching ghost town status. I would know - unlike your self, I actually play the game.

The only reason Blizzard's throwing a hissy fit is because they will miss out on the extra pennies they could have earned by licking up various tournaments surrounding the DotA scene - they NEVER had the intention to update or refresh the franchise. This is like raging against Riot because they made a DotA clone, only difference is, they didn't go ahead and name it 'DotA 2'.

Pearwood:

Kitsuna10060:

erm ... might i inquire how blizzard owns the rights to, or can even make a reasonable claim to own a fan made mod?

Well it was made on their programme to run specifically on their game and I seem to remember their EULA covering this. But like I said, Valve isn't trademarking Defence of the Ancients they're trademarking DOTA so I don't know who to side with on this one.

well...

i'm going to say 'valve'. pretty much solely based on one of the people that made the mod works there.

Kopikatsu:
You know, I know that people are going to complain about Blizzard because VALVe can do no wrong, but I think that Blizzard is in the right here.

I mean...DotA is their thing. I don't think it ever wasn't their thing.

Sir, you have no idea what your talking about. I can't believe Blizzard is being this immature, Valve legaly got the rights, they got the team, they have everything, they even MADE THE FREAKING GAME, Seriously, I can play Dota2 right now, i have the beta, Its a billion times better than the origional, and better than what Blizzard themselves could produce. I dont want to see MY GAME get F***ed over by some butt hurt execs who were too slow to figure out what was happening. The games out, the games great, get over it blizzard.

I thought this was cleared up ages ago.

Valve's game is not "Defense Of The Ancients 2," it's "DOTA 2." No implications attached and, thus, having no connection with the old game through name or title. They're not claiming a trademark over "Defense Of The Ancients," they've claiming it over the unnoficial name of "DOTA" (Which, by the way, is not "DotA." DotA is an abbreviation while DOTA is a word in capitals).

However, I will make a note that the argument seems to have changed. Blizzard is no longer stating that Valve can't have the name due to its use in the community, but rather that they own it. This is something I see to be ultimately wrong - it's like saying that every game which runs on an engine belongs to the people who made said engine. Warcraft 3 was used as nothing more than an engine for what started as a Hero Defense minigame into a full-blown Genre.
Also, looking between Blizzard DotA and DOTA2, in terms of content rights DOTA2 has more content similar to that of the original DotA, while Blizzard DotA is made up of Blizzard's "Greatest Heroes."

If Blizzard wants to say that Valve can't use the name DOTA, fine. But Blizzard shouldn't be able to use it either, if that's the case.

I find it funny that Valve hasn't launched their own campaign against Blizzard, going by how much they complain about it. Isn't Blizzard DotA a mod and, thus, not a full game to be trademarked?

thirion1850:

Kopikatsu:
You know, I know that people are going to complain about Blizzard because VALVe can do no wrong, but I think that Blizzard is in the right here.

I mean...DotA is their thing. I don't think it ever wasn't their thing.

DotA wasn't Blizzard's thing. It was a mod, and hence Icefrog's/Guinsoo's. Guinsoo went to LoL, Icefrog decided to take up Valve's offer. Fair is fair, and Blizzard technically holds no legal control over the Dota franchise, especially since Valve already secured a trademark on it.

I really don't get why people hate on Valve simply because it adopts mods. Isn't that a -good- thing? People get jobs, more refined games and their interesting ideas hit further mainstream, while one of the best gaming companies score a profit to continue to do their own thing. And yes, like it or not, for the most part -good- thing.

Reading through Blizzards notice of opposition I think the key point is this:

In 2008, Feak and Mescon each assigned all of their rights in and to the DotA
Mods and the DotA-Allstars Website to "DotA-Allstars, LLC." In 2010, DotA-Allstars,
9
LLC was purchased by Riot Games, Inc. In 2011, Riot transferred DotA-Allstars, LLC to
Blizzard. Accordingly, Blizzard now possesses all rights that DotA-Allstars LLC may
have had in connection with the DotA Mods and the DotA-Allstars website, including
any trademarks or other goodwill DotA-Allstars LLC may have had in the DOTA Marks.

So Icefrog and Guinsoo (Feak and Mescon) sold their rights to DOTA to Riot who then sold it to Blizzard.

Kopikatsu:

HobbesMkii:
This seems kinda like BS to me. Blizzard doesn't own DotA. It's a mod. It's the property of the mod's creator(s). If I make guitars, I don't own the music that other people write while using my guitar. If Blizzard's in the right, then Epic is owed some dough for Red Orchestra given that it was conceived and originally only playable on Unreal Tournament. Valve just knows how to recognize good modding, so they pay people who make good mods to make good games. Blizzard's just being an idiot, and trying to prevent Valve from releasing their game as part of an existing IP.

I should point out that Red Orchestra and RO2 were both made by Tripwire Interactive. VALVe didn't make DotA, just DotA 2.

I would like to point out blizzard did not make DotA
But valve is making DotA2

I really don't see how Valve has a case here

Blizz is fighting to keep the IP free, where as valve wants to trademark it

Big fan of both companies; Blizz is in the right though.

Kopikatsu:
You know, I know that people are going to complain about Blizzard because VALVe can do no wrong, but I think that Blizzard is in the right here.

I mean...DotA is their thing. I don't think it ever wasn't their thing.

The first post in the thread and we have a winner. Valve is in the wrong here. Blizzard doesn't want the trademark, they just want to stop Valve from using it. The original DOTA was created, albeit by a neutral third party, using Blizzard software. It became the unofficial flagship game (the official one being Warcraft of course.) Valve has every right to make a game based around it, they just shouldn't be allowed to use the name DOTA.

DOTA shouldn't belong to either of them. It should belong to its creators, the community. Many people have worked on DOTA, it's unfair to have one company own it.

And I know this is off topic but Dota 2 isn't really a sequel. It's just DOTA with the Source Engine.

Fusioncode9:
DOTA shouldn't belong to either of them. It should belong to its creators, the community. Many people have worked on DOTA, it's unfair to have one company own it.

And I know this is off topic but Dota 2 isn't really a sequel. It's just DOTA with the Source Engine.

Blizzard is trying to keep it that way. They aren't claiming DOTA, they are trying to prevent Valve from claiming it.

dagens24:
Big fan of both companies; Blizz is in the right though.

Care to explain your position?

I'm fairly drunk, but from what i can see, this is just an attempt from blizzard to get even more money. They had no hand and no rights to the making or name of DOTA. The easiest way to see it, if they had rights to it, there would be many itteritions, that Blizzard/Activision would make huge amounts of money on. Evidently, Blizzard/Activision have no real claim on the idea, and are just trying to be the money grabbing bastards they are. Fuck 'em.

This is Blizzard basically yelling that everything ever made on any of their world editors belongs to them. Fuck 'em, hope they lose this, doubt that will be the case.

Now, that said, I'm by no means an expert on legal matters, so here's a question. What would happen if Valve just made DotA2 without trademarking it? Would the trademark be public domain or something? Because if that's the case, Valve isn't right in this whole deal either.

Edit: By the way, how artistically and morally bankrupt do you have to be to plaster your own name on other people's work - better work - and try to sell it on that name alone?

Fr]anc[is:
Where was Blizz when LOL came out? Or Demigod? Or any of the other bazillion clones? They were too busy examining the inside of their colon to see this coming, and now they're crying because they are too late. Deal with it.

Well, I can't speak for LoL, but I know Demigod wasn't named after a popular Warcraft 3 mod, and wasn't designed to intentionally mimic Warcraft 3 assets and aesthetics as closely as possible.

HobbesMkii:

Kopikatsu:

HobbesMkii:
This seems kinda like BS to me. Blizzard doesn't own DotA. It's a mod. It's the property of the mod's creator(s). If I make guitars, I don't own the music that other people write while using my guitar. If Blizzard's in the right, then Epic is owed some dough for Red Orchestra given that it was conceived and originally only playable on Unreal Tournament. Valve just knows how to recognize good modding, so they pay people who make good mods to make good games. Blizzard's just being an idiot, and trying to prevent Valve from releasing their game as part of an existing IP.

I should point out that Red Orchestra and RO2 were both made by Tripwire Interactive. VALVe didn't make DotA, just DotA 2.

Right, but IceFrog, the last official developer behind DotA, is employed by Valve to make DotA 2. Therefore, it's about as official as it can be. The way I see it, Blizzard is planning to release a Blizzard DOTA mod for Starcraft II and doesn't want Valve to benefit from any potential positive IP development that might cause.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall there was a huge shitstorm over Icefrog. That he was working for two separate developers making DOTA clones for both at the same time or some such, and then Valve turned around and sued the other one, basically over the actions of a then Valve employee?

Kopikatsu:
You know, I know that people are going to complain about Blizzard because VALVe can do no wrong, but I think that Blizzard is in the right here.

I mean...DotA is their thing. I don't think it ever wasn't their thing.

Actually, DotA has nothing to do with blizzard other than being on warcraft 3, but then at the same time it has nothing to do with Valve either.

However DotA allstars is Guinsoo's (Works for Riot now) and Icefrog's thing (Who's working with Valve)

Hammeroj:
This is Blizzard basically yelling that everything ever made on any of their world editors belongs to them. Fuck 'em, hope they lose this, doubt that will be the case.

Now, that said, I'm by no means an expert on legal matters, so here's a question. What would happen if Valve just made DotA2 without trademarking it? Would the trademark be public domain or something? Because if that's the case, Valve isn't right in this whole deal either.

Edit: By the way, how artistically and morally bankrupt do you have to be to plaster your own name on other people's work - better work - and try to sell it on that name alone?

It's a fair bet that the trademark dispute is over two points. First the name, which Blizzard got as part of the Warcraft 3 EULA, and second is aesthetic. From what I've read, Icefrog was actually dictating they get as close to the Blizzard assets as they could legally get. Individually this would be fine, IE one or two models, but when we're talking sound, models, and so on, it could easily get into territory where it could create reasonable confusion for the consumer. Which is the entire point of Trademark law, preventing someone from confusing the consumer by slapping out a product so similar it's impossible to distinguish them.

Now, at a glance from what little I can find on DOTA2, there's enough similarity on character designs alone to probably support a trademark suit, and this is before you consider that DoTA is a Blizzard trademark.

Angry Juju:
Actually, DotA has nothing to do with blizzard other than being on warcraft 3...

...which, according to the Warcraft 3 map editor EULA, grants them the copyright to anything created with it.

So unless DotA was secretly developed on privately generated tools, which is, I guess possible, the trademark actually belonged to Blizzard all along.

This isn't a Valve is always right but Blizzard does not have a leg to stand on here and they have literally no case as far as I can see. They have done nothing about the other clones out there for one. Secondly, this was a mod made by people not affiliate with Blizzard it just happened to be on Warcraft 3. I may wrong on that with a clause in an EULA or something. Thirdly, thus far no modders that I know of who were involved in the project have come out against it and 1 is even working on the game.

So as far as I know with the copyright laws in America over the whole Scrolls thing with Zennimax needing to enforce copyright or lose it. That is how it works. So since Blizzard has not been enforcing its copyright it should in legal theory going by of course that this is how it works has already lost copyright. Now this may be a steaming pile as I do not know a lot about the laws but it seems this is the case.

Starke:

Angry Juju:
Actually, DotA has nothing to do with blizzard other than being on warcraft 3...

...which, according to the Warcraft 3 map editor EULA, grants them the copyright to anything created with it.

So unless DotA was secretly developed on privately generated tools, which is, I guess possible, the trademark actually belonged to Blizzard all along.

And i also believe Valve avoided that by turning it from an acronym into a word.

Hmm this is actually an interesting debate. Although mods are fan created, since they use/include elements from the main game (which is owned by the original devs), does that mean ownership of the mod could still be assigned to the dev's, or is it up for grabs by anyone?

I know with most MMO's, any character you create is still property of the game's owners (which is why it's technically against TOS to sell toons), but this is a bit of a gray area.

Being as there are currently 25,000 people playing Dota 2, I don't think Valve will let Blizzard win this one. Not to mention that Ice Frog is currently working at Valve, and he's contributed a lot to Dota as a whole, and I feel like that, coupled with Valve having purchased the rights to several mods before, they have a lot going for them. Blizzard has a point, but with Dota 2 so far along, and being a player myself, I don't want Blizzard to come out the victor on this one.

If Blizzard had picked up Counterstrike when it was still a mod and made whole game out of it, they'd be within their rights to copyright it. Same goes for Valve and DOTA.

Uh, Valve? Why try to sucker-punch Blizzard like this? You got plenty of great games to make money from, and DotA is clearly a Warcraft 3 Mod, so..What's up?
Oh, you think you can make your OWN DotA-like game with your own characters? Near! Then why don't you name it something other than DotA 2?

Angry Juju:

Starke:

Angry Juju:
Actually, DotA has nothing to do with blizzard other than being on warcraft 3...

...which, according to the Warcraft 3 map editor EULA, grants them the copyright to anything created with it.

So unless DotA was secretly developed on privately generated tools, which is, I guess possible, the trademark actually belonged to Blizzard all along.

And i also believe Valve avoided that by turning it from an acronym into a word.

Attempted to, at any rate. But simply turning it into an acronym, while simultaneously, continuing to ape the Warcraft 3 art style and retaining the overall game mechanics is much dicier.

I mean, the conceptual test (not the actual legal test) for Trademark is "can this confuse the consumer as to who is producing this?" In this case, yeah, yeah it can.

Glademaster:
This isn't a Valve is always right but Blizzard does not have a leg to stand on here and they have literally no case as far as I can see.

Nice to see all the legal experts weighing in. They didn't act on the other DotA clones because they didn't look like Blizzard products, and they weren't named in such a way that they appeared to be Blizzard products.

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