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Blizzard and Valve Sort Out Their Legal Dispute Over DOTA Trademark

The two publishers come to a mutually beneficial agreement that allows all of the DOTAs to come out as scheduled.

Make that Blizzard All-Stars.
Make that Blizzard All-Stars.

Marking the end of one of the shortest legal battles (more of a skirmish, really) in video game industry history, Blizzard and Valve today came to a mutual agreement over the trademark rights for DOTA. DOTA is, of course, the popular Warcraft III mod that somehow became a commercial sequel in development at Valve, even though Blizzard had decided to make its own official update of the mod for Starcraft II and...you know what? Never mind. It's way too long and convoluted to try and explain in a news blurb.

The point is, the fight over the trademark is now over with. Valve and Blizzard sent out a joint press release today letting everyone know that everything was hunky dory between the two publishers. As per the settlement, Valve gets to keep the DOTA name for whatever commercial uses it might like--such as the eventual release of DOTA 2--and Blizzard fans are A-OK to use the name for any noncommercial projects without fear of legal reprisal. As for the upcoming official DOTA update from Blizzard, that has been renamed Blizzard All-Stars. Because apparently that was the best name they could come up with on short notice.

Blizzard had previously claimed that the DOTA trademark had too much history with Blizzard to be trademarked by another company. They stated in their original complaint that the name DOTA had "become firmly associated in the mind of consumers with Blizzard."

Ultimately, it seems the two parties were able to find common ground they could both work within, and now everybody's happy. While it would have been great for the two companies to figure this stuff out without involving the legal system, that just isn't really how business is done nowadays. At least this one ended quickly, and on a friendly enough note.

Alex Navarro on Google+