DotA was a fan-made Warcraft III mod that went on to birth an entire video game genre. When Valve announced in late 2010 that it had hired lead DotA mastermind “IceFrog”, and that it was developing a sequel, everyone expected Blizzard to make some move to protect the IP, even though the publisher didn’t play any role in its development.
The backlash never came, though, and Valve continued developing the game seemingly unhindered.
Until now that is. It seems that Blizzard has issued a formal notice of opposition to Valve, pertaining to the use of the following names: “DotA”, “Dota”, “DOTA”, and the full title, Defense of the Ancients.
The ground for opposition are listed as “Priority and likelihood of confusion”.
The document includes Valve’s formal response to the opposition, stating:
“Valve admits that Blizzard is the distributor of popular video games, including the Warcraft, World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo gaming franchises. Valve is otherwise without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the true or falsity of the remaining averments of this paragraph.”
In other words, Valve denies having having knowledge that Blizzard has any ownership of the DOTA name.
The document continues with additional details which indicate that Blizzard is continuing to attempt to stop Valve from developing DotA 2, or at least from calling it “DotA 2”.