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Blizzard and Valve settle ongoing 'Dota' trademark controversy

Blizzard and Valve settle ongoing 'Dota' trademark controversy

May 11, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

May 11, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

After several months of confusion over the rights to the 'Dota' label, Valve Software and Blizzard Entertainment have settled their differences and have decided terms for how each studio will use the Defense of the Ancients-inspired name.

Under this new agreement, Valve will continue to use the trademark on a commercial level for products such as its upcoming action strategy game Dota 2, while Blizzard will be able to use the name in relation to player-created maps for WarCraft III and StarCraft II.

Since Blizzard can only use the 'Dota' name for its player-created content, the studio has decided to rename Blizzard DOTA (an official StarCraft II mod) to Blizzard All-Stars.

The 'Dota' name originally derives from the WarCraft III mod Defense of the Ancients, a 2003 release that sparked a new genre of real time strategy, now often referred to as MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena).

In 2010, Valve shocked the industry when it trademarked and announced Dota 2, which the studio was developing in collaboration with long-time Defense of the Ancients designer IceFrog.

At the time, Blizzard said it was baffled that Valve had trademarked the name, as the company had never before used the 'Dota' label for any of its games or products. In early 2012, the WarCraft III developer filed a U.S. trademark opposition to stop Valve from using the name altogether.

In the midst of this controversy, League of Legends developer Riot games filed its own trademark to protect the 'Defense of the Ancients' name, claiming it belongs to the community and not a single game studio. Gamasutra contacted Riot regarding the status of its previous filing, but has not heard back as of press time.

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