IPLJ FEATURE: The Gamer’s Realm - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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IPLJ FEATURE: The Gamer’s Realm

IPLJ FEATURE: The Gamer’s Realm

Blizzard Trying To Prevent Valve From Using DOTA Trademark

Blizzard, the developer of World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and the Diablo series has filed a notice of opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in order to prevent Valve, the developer of Half-Life and Portal, from registering “Dota” as a trademark.  Valve is attempting to trademark Dota as it prepares to release its new game Dota 2.  Blizzard is trying to prevent the registration because the name DOTA is associated with a Blizzard game, Warcraft III.

Although Valve’s new game is called Dota 2 it is not a sequel since there is no game actually called Dota.  The name “DotA” comes from a popular mod for Warcraft III called the Defense of the Ancients Mod.  Valve’s Dota 2 is not related to Warcraft III because Warcraft III is the property of Blizzard. Blizzard, the creator of “the Ancients” characters, states that “it is well-known and understood among players of the DotA Mods that the DOTA Marks refer to Blizzard’s well-known characters “the Ancients.” Blizzard is also now developing a new DOTA Mod for its game Starcraft II.

Blizzard opposes Valve’s registration because it claims that “[b]y 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] 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.”  However, Blizzard uses the term DOTA as an acronym for Defense of the Ancients, while Valve’s Dota is not an acronym and therefore does not involve a reference to “the Ancients.”

Whether or not Blizzard’s opposition will affect the release of either its Starcraft II mod or Valve’s Dota 2 game is currently unknown.

To read Blizzard’s notice of opposition, and some interesting background into the Warcraft game, click here.


Gregg Katz

Gregg Katz is a 3L at Fordham University School of Law. He grew up on Long Island, New York and played a lot a video games and watched a lot of TV. Now he is trying to turn those interests into a career in entertainment law. Gregg is IPLJ's resident video game expert but we promised him we'd keep that secret between us.