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Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM

This document is Blizzard's "notice of opposition" to Valve's efforts to trademark "DOTA," to which Blizzard has long objected. This federal lawsuit follows indications that Blizzard is planning a retail release for their own DOTA game, which at one point was thought to be a StarCraft II modification. Blizzard filing lists the following reason for opposition: "Priority and likelihood of confusion."

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60. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 12, 2012, 11:41 ^Drag0n^
 
As I said two posts ago, if DOTA was created by a Valve employee, that will, also, have a significant effect on the outcome, as:

A) most companies have ip riders in their terms of employment laying claim to any invention created within the realm of their businesses sphere of influence for the duration of your employment. This includes "off the clock" ip. Or,

B) his having been an employee at valve, even if it was after release of the first DOTA mod, could be construed as a de facto transfer or license to use, as he obviously didn't object to Valve not only making the game, but through the title implying it was a sanctioned sequel.

^D^
 
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59. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 12, 2012, 10:04 The KillSmith
 
^Drag0n^ wrote on Feb 12, 2012, 02:46:
I think you kinda missed my point. No one can trademark something that has "prior art" in the public domain, or published under another creator's name. I wasn't saying that Blizzard had any claim to the title-- quite the contrary-- I fully expect that a judge, when presented with the evidence, will deem the title the property of NEITHER party involved.

^D^

The problem is that technically, in the legal world, public domain only applies to intellectual property... and to actually be IP in the first place then at one time it would have needed "rights" (like a trademark) that expired or were basically given up by the owner. In this case, the trademark for the name "DotA" was never started by Eul (the creator), hence he could have decided to apply for it at any point. Valve, and Eul who is a part of Valve, eventually did. So I don't think that argument works.
 
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58. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 12, 2012, 09:17 Dev
 
That assumes common sense in the legal system. Hire some good lawyers and this kinda issue could take 5 or 10 years to resolve.  
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57. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 12, 2012, 02:46 ^Drag0n^
 
The KillSmith wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 12:27:
nin wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 12:16:
Oh boy!!!!!!!!!!!

You're welcome.

I think you kinda missed my point. No one can trademark something that has "prior art" in the public domain, or published under another creator's name. I wasn't saying that Blizzard had any claim to the title-- quite the contrary-- I fully expect that a judge, when presented with the evidence, will deem the title the property of NEITHER party involved.

^D^
 
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56. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 17:28 Prez
 
News sites post this as a Activison-Blizzard vs Valve thing in their titles because that's what it is on the surface... but in essence this as a large publishing corporation vs developers and their original ideas.

Well, it sure looks like Big Fat Rich Blizzard against Big Fat Rich Valve to me, fighting over a trademark (LLC if you prefer - I don't give a rat's ass about legal speak) that morally belongs to neither of them. Fuck 'em.

If it really is about a David vs Goliath-style devs vs. pubs, (which I am just not seeing, but whatever) then I already know how it turns out. The corporations always win. Next. I pull for the developers and modders as much as anyone but if this is what it comes down to, the "little guys" versus the armies of corporate lawyers, then we all know THAT outcome long before it ever sees a courtroom. Am I cynical? Oh yeah. With plenty of experience to explain why.
 
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55. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 14:45 The KillSmith
 
Prez wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 14:27:
It's a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo bullshit that means nothing to anyone not a wannabe paralegal. All I know is that it's all noise and bullshit involving scumbag lawyers and scumbag corporate shenanigans.

Well, perhaps the larger point should mean something to you if you care about gaming and the future of developers who make them. News sites post this as a Activison-Blizzard vs Valve thing in their titles because that's what it is on the surface... but in essence this as a large publishing corporation vs developers and their original ideas. Others should see through the veil of carefully crafted PR statements and lawyer documents. I agree... this is a bunch of BS involving scumbag lawyers and corporate execs. Who would want to defend them? I look forward to a day where most of the middlemen in this industry are long gone. Digital distribution and the possibility of fan funded projects is the answer. It's no suprise then that Valve is implimenting that exact plan. Publishers know this and they are afraid, because they will become largely a moot point if that structure takes over. Fans should be cheering it on because we'll get better, more creative games for less money.

This comment was edited on Feb 11, 2012, 16:18.
 
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54. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 14:27 Prez
 
Sepharo wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 14:08:

I read it twice to see if there anything new but there wasn't. Just a rehashing of what's already been said in the thread...

But thanks for enlightening us!

It's a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo bullshit that means nothing to anyone not a wannabe paralegal. All I know is that it's all noise and bullshit involving scumbag lawyers and scumbag corporate shenanigans.
 
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53. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 14:08 Sepharo
 
nin wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 12:46:
I'm sorry I didn't read your blog post. :(

I read it twice to see if there anything new but there wasn't. Just a rehashing of what's already been said in the thread...

But thanks for enlightening us!
 
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52. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 12:46 nin
 

I'm sorry I didn't read your blog post.

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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51. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 12:40 The KillSmith
 
nin wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 12:33:
You're welcome.

I didn't bother. I'm just saying when you start a post as "none of you know what you're talking about, here's a cut and paste I did from elsewhere" you shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't make a great impression.

1) You misquoted me, that's not what I said. You're paraphrasing with a slant to the negative. But the truth remains: a lot of posters don't understand what's going on. That's not a slight to their person as it's hard to understand if you haven't followed it.
2) I know full well why you made that snide comment. I was being facitious in my response.
3) If you don't want to read it, don't read it. No skin off my back. The post was meant for those who are interested, not trolls.
 
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50. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 12:33 nin
 
You're welcome.

I didn't bother. I'm just saying when you start a post as "none of you know what you're talking about, here's a cut and paste I did from elsewhere" you shouldn't be surprised if it doesn't make a great impression.
 
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49. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 12:27 The KillSmith
 
nin wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 12:16:
Oh boy!!!!!!!!!!!

You're welcome.
 
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48. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 12:16 nin
 

Wow, I can tell a lot of posters here don't understand what's going on, so I'm going to copy a post I made on another forum

Oh boy!!!!!!!!!!!

 
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47. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 12:06 The KillSmith
 
Wow, I can tell a lot of posters here don't understand what's going on, so I'm going to copy a post I made on another forum about this to give some insight that will hopefully keep the uninformed comments to a minimum and lessen the confusion of readers:


As far as the Allstars LLC claim Blizzard has: An LLC is not the same as an intellectual property nor a trademarked name of a product. The LLC was basically nothing (owned no trademarks that I know of, otherwise this would be a shut case already) - the majority of the LLC's claim was basically just the dota-allstars website (created by Pendragon aka Mescon the glorified webmaster of a glorified DotA clan) which really had been replaced by the developer Icefrog's playdota.com, since Icefrog was the one who continued the development after others had gone on to other things and the dota-allstars domain declined. Also don't forget that this all revolved around the dota allstars variant, the starting of which was Feak's main contribution... NOT the original DotA creation which was Eul's. How is it that one of the many offshoot developers that came and went in the organic creation of a mod-based sub-genre gets sole ownership of the IP and it's name? That's not how intellectual property works in almost any country, and especially not the United States.

There's just no getting around this. The DotA concept and name was Eul's, and it CERTAINLY was never Blizzard's. I'm not even certain why Mescon went to trademark the full "Defense of the Ancients" title back when this all started... when did HE become a major developement contributor in the history of all this? Even now, working for Riot Games, he's not a developer. He's just the "Director of Community Relations". Where is his stake in all this exactly?

The thing that really ticks me off in all this is that each party making a grab for a piece in this pie all claim to be doing it for the "DotA community and fans". Let me pose this question: what does the majority of the DotA community that's been around throughout the years to see this unfold think about all this? If someone would ask them, they may find the time to answer in between beta matches as they anxiously await DotA2.

This isn't so much a Blizzard bashing as it is a developer defending. Big corporations shouldn't get to decide the fate of someone else's creative works, especially when they toiled at it for years with no pay. Try to see this from Eul's shoes (who now works at Valve along with IceFrog).

Valve has been semi-gracious in that they've basically taken the genre's acronym-become-term as the title rather than the original full title of the mod (or "map", depending on your subjective terminology choice here). Valve (including Gabe) has openly admitted to being huge fans of Blizzard and wanting to work with them on multiple fronts before this, during this, and even after... but Blizzard has remained exclusive, totalitarian, and integrated, even more so after the Activision merger since they are now beholden to stockholders. While an amazing artistic team, their new business direction is something akin to the Apple of PC gaming devs, and this whole DotA thing is just embarrassing. I wish they would just stick to making games, and I wish the dev portions of Blizzard would have chosen artistic freedom rather than more cash. Then again, maybe it wasn't their decision.

That being said: I'm still looking forward to Diablo 3

This comment was edited on Feb 11, 2012, 14:41.
 
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46. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 11:55 ^Drag0n^
 
If Valve, indeed, filed for a copyright on DOTA, and it was in the public domain already, Blizzard has every right to sue the living snot out of Gabe et. Al. In fact, it should have been denied on filing, all things being equal.

Unless the DOTA mod author is working for valve, or money was exchanged with them, this was a monumentally stupid move by Valve (assuming its true).

^D^
 
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45. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 10:05 Prez
 
I love Valve, and yes, they have done a ton of great things for PC gaming, but I've been the first in line to bash them when they screw up (Left 4 Dead 2 ALREADY? HELLO - remember Half-Life Valve?). I thought it utterly stupid when they copyrighted 'DOTA', and I hope they feel stupid now that this has happened. Still, all lawyers involved should die for good measure, and Blizzard employees all come down with malaria for their part in this stupidity.  
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44. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 06:50 Dev
 
eunichron wrote on Feb 11, 2012, 03:29:
I think the point is that everyone is jumping to the defense of Valve as if they're some savior of the gaming community, when they haven't released anything of their own since 2007. Essentially, Valve is riding the coattails of the mod community, making bank on other people's work, and shoving it down our throats through Steam and its sales. And we lap it up, we lap it up because we love it.
So valve didn't release their portal 2?

Also, if you bother to read a few replies in this thread, you'll notice that a big chunk of them say valve is in the wrong here, so its certainly not the case that "everyone" is defending valve.

As well, there are vocal critics of valve/steam that post not infrequently on blues (and I'm sure elsewhere too).

I have a ton of games and I love steam, but man some things valve does peev me. For instance, the lying about L4D1. Even if they ended up supporting L4D2 like TF2 instead, I would have forgiven them. They didn't. Also, valve's hiring practices and management leave something to be desired from a customer standpoint. Such as they need to hire people dedicated to polishing steam and adding features.
 
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43. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 06:23 s1mon75
 
All Bullshit aside, if Valve was to release DOTA 2 as a completely free download, there wouldn’t be an issue.

Valve are shamelessly using something that came directly from a Blizzard game and their community and intend to make money from it. They even had the audacity to call it DOTA 2.

Personally I cant blame Blizzard for bringing out their army of Lawyers

And to those making the comments ‘Blizzard doesn’t care or listen to their fan base’ are naive. I have yet to see a gaming house implement changes based on player feedback more than Blizzard has.
 
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42. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 03:29 eunichron
 
Snabel wrote on Feb 10, 2012, 11:57:
Theo wrote on Feb 10, 2012, 11:24:
But honestly when was the last time Valve released some IP they created, answer, HL2.

I'm not sure I see how it matters.

I think the point is that everyone is jumping to the defense of Valve as if they're some savior of the gaming community, when they haven't released anything of their own since 2007. Essentially, Valve is riding the coattails of the mod community, making bank on other people's work, and shoving it down our throats through Steam and its sales. And we lap it up, we lap it up because we love it.

They're both dicks, but if you actually take the time to read the opposition Blizzard does have the better claim to the trademark. It wouldn't be as simple as Valve renaming the game, since the Dota 2 is pretty much an exact remake of Dota; same hero names, same spell names, creeps, items, etc. If Blizzard ends up winning Valve would have to redesign the entire game.
 
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41. Re: Blizzard Sues Over DOTA TM Feb 11, 2012, 02:11 entr0py
 
I guess both games will come out and one of them will have a different name. Who cares in the end?  
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