Legal issues are pretty common in this industry and, for the most part, they’re over miniscule things. In this case, that “thing” is the trademark of the acronym DOTA. Blizzard recently filed a complaint against Valve in an attempt to gain control of DOTA and all related names.
DOTA, or Defense of the Anicents, began as a mod in Blizzard’s popular RTS, Warcraft 3. Valve became interested in making DOTA 2 after corresponding with Icefrog, DOTA’s original developer, and inviting him to the Valve offices. Soon after, they filed a trademark for DOTA so that they could begin work on the sequel. Meanwhile, Blizzard is in the midst of creating a Blizzard DOTA for Starcraft 2.
From the court documents:
DOTA has been used as the popular name of a Warcraft III software “mod” file that has been distributed, marketed, and promoted by Blizzard and its fans (under license from Blizzard); that utilizes and is built upon the Warcraft III game engine, interface, and gameplay mechanics; that is comprised of Warcraft III characters, items, spells, artwork, textures, and color palates; that can be played only using Warcraft III software and via Blizzard’s online service Battle.net; and whose name (DOTA, an acronym for “Defense of the Ancients”) is a reference to Warcraft III characters known as the “Ancients.”
Warcraft III’s EULA clearly specifies that all underlying intellectual property rights in and to Warcraft III are owned by Blizzard: “All title, ownership rights, and intellectual property rights in and to the Program and any and all copies thereof (including, but not limited to, any titles, computer code, themes, objects, characters, character names, stories, dialog, catch phrases, locations, concepts, artwork, animations, sounds, musical compositions, audiovisual effects, methods of operation, moral rights, any related documentation, and `applets’ incorporated into the Program) are owned by Blizzard or its licensors.
What does everything think about this? Do you think Blizzard has valid claims for the ownership of the title? Or should it go to Valve and Icefrog? Speak up in the comments!