League of Legends developer Riot Games has filed a trademark for Defense of the Ancients in a counter to the one filed by Valve, in order to keep the popular mod public.
Speaking with PC Gamer, Riot Games' Steve "Pendragon" Mescon said the "counter trademark" was filed in order to protect the work created by "dozens" of the Warcraft III mod's authors.
"We have filed for the Defense of the Ancients trademark to protect the work that dozens of authors have done to create the game and on behalf of the millions of DotA players all over the world," said Mescon, co-creator of DotA Allstars.
"The idea that one single company is taking control of the name of something that hundreds of people have contributed to is surprising. I believe DotA should always remain a community-owned product that modders, independent developers and game fans can continue to modify and play as often as they'd like."
However, Mescon has faith in Valve, saying he's going to give it the "benefit of the doubt" due to its favorable history with the mod community.
"I think the best-case scenario would be that nobody owns the trademark to the 'DotA' name," he said. "But if Valve were to ultimately gain the rights, I hope that they would abandon the trademark and release it to the community to allow them to continue to modify, play and experience DotA for free.
"That’s what DotA is all about."
Riot's attorney, Tal Grinblat, filed for a Defense of the Ancients trademark on August 9, three days after Valve filed for DotA.
The game itself has been long-rumored to be in the works at Valve after the firm hired DotA co-designer IceFrog.
DotA was brought back into the spotlight, thanks to Duke Nukem voice actor John St. Jon outing his role in the game on Twitter before removing the offending tweets.