Blizzard has brought a case to the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board challenging Valve’s right to trademark the word DOTA.
“Blizzard seeks to prevent registration by its competitor Valve Corporation of a trademark, DOTA, that for more than seven years has been used exclusively by Blizzard and its fan community, under license from Blizzard,” the Warcraft III developer said in its opposition (PDF).
“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.”
Blizzard argued that Valve “has never used the mark DOTA in connection with any product or service that currently is available to the public” and that “by attempting to register the mark DOTA, Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed”, taking 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,” Blizzard’s legal team stated.
“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.”
DOTA stands for Defence of the Ancients, a Warcraft III map created by modders which developed into its own genre of eSport, spawning League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, and other competitors – including Valve’s upcoming DOTA 2.