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DOTA Trademark Settled

Blizzard Entertainment and Valve announce a settlement of the lawsuit over Valve's trademark of DOTA:

Blizzard Entertainment and Valve today announced a mutual agreement regarding concerns over the names of upcoming products. In accordance with the agreement, Valve will continue to use DOTA commercially, including DOTA 2, while Blizzard will preserve noncommercial use of DOTA for its community with regard to player-created maps for Warcraft III and StarCraft II.

"Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they're looking forward to, so we're happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that," said Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard Entertainment. "As part of this agreement, we're going to be changing the name of Blizzard DOTA to Blizzard All-Stars, which ultimately better reflects the design of our game. We look forward to going into more detail on that at a later date."

"We're pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one," said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. "We both want to focus on the things our fans care about, creating and shipping great games for our communities."

The companies do not plan to discuss the terms of the agreement beyond today's announcement.

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27 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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27. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 13, 2012, 13:10 The KillSmith
 
How exactly did Blizzard "stand up for gamers"?

Big corporations shouldn't get to decide the fate of someone else's creative works (even the name), especially when they toiled at it for years with no pay. The original DotA map and name was Eul's, and as I understand it he works at Valve. Also, the dev who continued the development for the longest and most recent period time was Icefrog, who also works at Valve. Blizzard's only claim was to the "Allstars LLC", which is not the same as an intellectual property nor a trademarked name of a product. That claim was all from a deal with Pendragon, who was really just the webmaster of the dota-allstars website, which declined in relevance once Icefrog's playdota.com became the pillar.

I like the development portion of Blizzard, but I hate the lawyer/publishing part of Activision-Blizzard. In the end, this turned out exactly as it should have: with the rights in the creators' hands. Valve's dev support also worked out the best for the community, who wouldn't have gotten this superb sequel otherwise (since Blizzard originally turned down helping Icefrog). "Blizzard never tried to capitalize on it" is a twist on the real situation, which is that they turned down the chance to bring on the devs and give them the pay and staff they needed to work on their ideas and turn them into even better products for the community, despite what kind of monetization may or may not have been involved.

I'm proud of Blizzard for letting this go, and I'm proud of Valve for doing what they've always done: given really great community members the chance to create their dreams and the rest of us the chance to play in them. It's funny because a handful of the gaming community sees Valve's motives like a Publishers and assume they try to "steal" others' ideas and profit from them. Those who think that should go to the modders and indie devs who actually created those ideas and ask them what THEY think. You can actually find those perspectives in interviews all over the web, and you'll see a much different story.

This comment was edited on May 13, 2012, 13:25.
 
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26. Re: Blizzard was not being an ass here. May 12, 2012, 15:33 NKD
 
IMAPC wrote on May 11, 2012, 22:48:
If Blizzard hadn't taken a stand here and stood up for gamers,

Aside from a few brainwashed zealots on either side, gamers don't give two shits about people bickering over a name. Blizzard was "sticking up" for themselves.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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25. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 23:57 RailWizard
 
All that time, money and sanity, just to settle something that could've been worked out over a couple beers. Fucking USians. Bravo Sir's! Noble Victory! ....  
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24. Re: Blizzard was not being an ass here. May 11, 2012, 23:38 Prez
 
IMAPC wrote on May 11, 2012, 22:48:
Prez wrote on May 11, 2012, 22:37:
Blizzard acted like complete asses, to be sure

If Blizzard hadn't taken a stand here and stood up for gamers, no one would have. Sure Blizzard didn't file the lawsuit for purely altruistic reasons, but that doesn't mean that the company was being an ass or that gamers wouldn't benefit from its actions.

Come on, now, let's not be naive. I have come to love a few Blizzard games in my time but Blizzard acts in their own best interest now, no one else's. And yes, they acted like asses. Regardless of what their BS legaleze says in their user agreement, ethically they have zero right to the name as well. It belongs to the mod makers, period. Moral ownership trumps legal ownership every time in my book. Of course, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I give a good rats ass about copyright and IP law.

EDIT: And by what revisionist spindoctor version of the above statements is anyone coming to the conclusion that Blizzard came out on top here? Valve gets to name their game DOTA,they retain the rights to it commercially, and Blizzard is changing theirs to "Allstars". Did we read the same headline?

This comment was edited on May 11, 2012, 23:54.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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23. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 23:08 RollinThundr
 
Paketep wrote on May 11, 2012, 20:11:
eunichron wrote on May 11, 2012, 17:29:
Actually, Blizzard only brought a suit to prevent Valve from trademarking the name so that DOTA would remain a part of the community.

Yeah, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure, Blizzard did it for the community

/me pats eunichron in the shoulder

Just like they made a RMAH for Diablo 3 "for the community", you know, wink wink Winkrazz
 
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22. Blizzard was not being an ass here. May 11, 2012, 22:48 IMAPC
 
Prez wrote on May 11, 2012, 22:37:
Blizzard acted like complete asses, to be sure
Blizzard wasn't the ass in this situation. Someone had to legally oppose Valve's attempt at the trademark, and the gaming community certainly didn't have the money or the organization to launch and fund this lawsuit.

If Blizzard hadn't taken a stand here and stood up for gamers, no one would have. Sure Blizzard didn't file the lawsuit for purely altruistic reasons, but that doesn't mean that the company was being an ass or that gamers wouldn't benefit from its actions.
 
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21. Re: Valve paid Blizzard to go away. May 11, 2012, 22:37 Prez
 
Blizzard acted like complete asses, to be sure, but yeah, I have to agree that Valve started it by stupidly trying to trademark the name of someone else's mod. Like I said, I'm just glad they agreed to stop the idiocy.  
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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20. Valve paid Blizzard to go away. May 11, 2012, 22:33 IMAPC
 
jacobvandy wrote on May 11, 2012, 18:02:
Obviously their arguments failed.
No, they didn't. Actually the fact that Valve settled and isn't willing to disclose the terms of the settlement strongly suggests that Valve paid Blizzard to drop the lawsuit and rename its game.

Blizzard would never have backed down at this point and changed the name of its game without Valve paying it off. There simply was no need. The court had not ruled on the merits of the case, and Blizzard had plenty of time and resources to let the case proceed. Valve on the other hand did have an urgent need to make this go away as soon as possible. Valve wants to release DOTA 2, and it could not do that with this lawsuit hanging over the product because the court could have enjoined the game from being released until this matter was resolved.

As a result of the settlement the gaming community wins because it gets to keep using the DOTA name for its mod. That may not have happened if Valve had gotten exclusive use of the trademark.


Prez wrote on May 11, 2012, 21:25:
The whole thing was idiotic from the start.
It was idiotic for Valve to try to trademark a name which had been used freely in the gaming community for years. That is like Wal-Mart trying to trademark the happy face logo which it lost when it sued another company for using it. Valve would have likely lost the trademark to DOTA for the same reason.

This comment was edited on May 11, 2012, 22:43.
 
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19. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 21:28 eunichron
 
Paketep wrote on May 11, 2012, 20:11:
eunichron wrote on May 11, 2012, 17:29:
Actually, Blizzard only brought a suit to prevent Valve from trademarking the name so that DOTA would remain a part of the community.

Yeah, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure, Blizzard did it for the community

/me pats eunichron in the shoulder

Knock them all you want, but Blizzard never tried to trademark Dota, all they did was try to prevent Valve from trademarking it, which would give Valve complete control over the franchise, including the original mod. Blizzard had the rights to it, or at least more of a claim to it than Valve, for 7 years, and never tried to capitalize on it; even Blizzard DOTA, or Blizzard All-stars, whatever, is being released as a free mod. Demonize them all you want for Diablo 3 and SC2, but Blizzard has always let Dota remain in the hands of the community.
 
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18. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 21:25 Prez
 
The whole thing was idiotic from the start. At least it's over and done with now.  
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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17. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 20:48 jacobvandy
 
I was just reminded by RPS' post on this that another argument Blizzard made was that DOTA stands for Defense of the Ancients, the 'Ancients' being Warcraft characters. Since they own the characters, you wouldn't be able to trademark the long-form name, so you shouldn't be able to trademark the acronym. Ridonkulous.  
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16. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 20:26 Beelzebud
 
Dear Blizzard,

This did not involve lawyers. Valve wasn't going to put a stop to the community you ignored.

Sincerely,
Common Sense.
 
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15. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 20:11 Paketep
 
eunichron wrote on May 11, 2012, 17:29:
Actually, Blizzard only brought a suit to prevent Valve from trademarking the name so that DOTA would remain a part of the community.

Yeah, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure, Blizzard did it for the community

/me pats eunichron in the shoulder
 
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14. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 19:58 Cutter
 
The shitty thing about this is neither of them created the name or the concept. This should be public domain at the very least.
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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13. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 18:35 Mashiki Amiketo
 
Flatline wrote on May 11, 2012, 18:05:
So wait... Blizzard's argument is that if you make a fan mod for a blizzard game that turns super popular, Blizzard owns it?
In most places if you make a mod based on someone elses assets they own it. The only places it doesn't apply are generally meshes, textures and music. This is more so held true when you're using their toolkit to make it.
 
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
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12. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 18:33 Tumbler
 
Lol, that is hilarious. Ok you have all the rights to use the name commercially. But you can't make us stop using our dota mod! Haha we win fools, all you get is freedom to make games and sell them. Exclusively!!! Do you know how hard it is to make games? Haha you just got served! We win, we get to keep the mod!!  
99gamers.com-Game trading site, PC digital trading!
Kickstarter "Game Developer"!
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11. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 18:19 jacobvandy
 
That's what their terms of service that you agreed to upon installing stated, yes, that any mods created are their property. It's meant to prevent players from profiting off of custom maps or whatever. That's why I'm somewhat disappointed they settled on this so soon instead of going to court, because I want to know more about the case. I'm curious how that played into it, whether a video game's ToS would actually stand up, though Valve hiring the original creator of DOTA and the guy that maintained it for however many years helped them.  
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10. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 18:05 Flatline
 
jacobvandy wrote on May 11, 2012, 18:02:
eunichron wrote on May 11, 2012, 17:29:
Actually, Blizzard only brought a suit to prevent Valve from trademarking the name so that DOTA would remain a part of the community. There was nothing in the paperwork that suggested Blizzard wanted the trademark for themselves. I know it doesn't fit into your neat little categories of Blizzard being the big evil corporate machine vs Valve the savior of PC gaming, but I'm sure the settlement required that Valve not challenge any future iterations of the original DOTA mod.

You still need legal standing in order to oppose a trademark... I read the paperwork, too, and they were trying really hard to prove how the term was rooted in their own games' culture and that it virtually belonged to them because of their terms of service. Doesn't matter if they haven't officially filed for the trademark, they were still claiming they had rights to the term and Valve didn't. Obviously their arguments failed.

So wait... Blizzard's argument is that if you make a fan mod for a blizzard game that turns super popular, Blizzard owns it?
 
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9. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 18:02 jacobvandy
 
eunichron wrote on May 11, 2012, 17:29:
Actually, Blizzard only brought a suit to prevent Valve from trademarking the name so that DOTA would remain a part of the community. There was nothing in the paperwork that suggested Blizzard wanted the trademark for themselves. I know it doesn't fit into your neat little categories of Blizzard being the big evil corporate machine vs Valve the savior of PC gaming, but I'm sure the settlement required that Valve not challenge any future iterations of the original DOTA mod.

You still need legal standing in order to oppose a trademark... I read the paperwork, too, and they were trying really hard to prove how the term was rooted in their own games' culture and that it virtually belonged to them because of their terms of service. Doesn't matter if they haven't officially filed for the trademark, they were still claiming they had rights to the term and Valve didn't. Obviously their arguments failed.
 
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8. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 17:39 The Pyro
 
Frijoles wrote on May 11, 2012, 16:53:
The sound you hear is hundreds of lawyers crying out in anguish.

Not necessarily. The announcement says nothing about whether money changed hands. Somebody may have gotten a big payday here.
 
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27 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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