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2-17-2012 @ 3:51PM
IMHO:- DOTA merits trademark protection, to the same extent that any other genre setting game (the ones often used in describing other games; how many times have you seen a game referred as a "Diablo clone", or as a "WoW clone"? This does not make Diablo or WoW any less deserving of trademark protection). More so because most DOTA clones try to avoid the "DOTA" name.- I don't think Blizzard has any standing in trying to prevent DOTA from being trademarked. The DOTA trademark was applied for long before Blizzard revealed they are doing Blizzard DOTA. The same with the announcement of DOTA 2.- I see the fact DOTA was developed as a Warcraft 3 mod as irrelevant. I see Blizzard objecting to the DOTA trademark based on it's mod origins as if Microsoft tried to prevent an Android app from trademarking it's name just because the developers used windows-based development tools.- What I see as the sole remaining question: should the DOTA trademark be owned by the original creator or the current maintainer (i.e., IceFrog, currently employed by Valve)?
2-17-2012 @ 4:06PM
The genre is MMORPG, and if someone were to try and trademark, say "MMORPG 2", there would be some problems. People use "WoW clone" not to describe a genre of a game, but to describe a game itself (eg "SW:TOR is a WoW clone"). You can have an MMORPG without it being a WoW clone.
2-17-2012 @ 4:19PM
"- DOTA merits trademark protection, to the same extent that any other genre setting game (the ones often used in describing other games; how many times have you seen a game referred as a "Diablo clone", or as a "WoW clone"? This does not make Diablo or WoW any less deserving of trademark protection). More so because most DOTA clones try to avoid the "DOTA" name."The difference being DOTA wasn't a game like Diablo and WoW, i.e. - created by a company for sale. It was fan-made and free. Diablo and WoW are of course going to be trademarked because companies will protect their intellectual properties. DOTA, however, wasn't someone's fresh creation; rather, it was a shuffling around of already owned resources (Blizzard heroes, Blizzard enemies, Blizzard map resources, etc.). It was also, as I said, free, and not for sale. I'm not saying DOTA should never be trademarked, but comparing it to Diablo or WoW is laughable.
2-17-2012 @ 6:55PM
@Jebediah54:DOTA is not a genre. It stands for the name of a game. It's not some generic term, it does not attempt to explain what the game is about, etc. If you say "Defense of the Ancients" to a person that does not already know the game, he won't have an inkling on what the game is about.MMORPG is a genre. It is actually a brief description of what the genre is about (massively multiplayer online role playing game), and thus generic and not deserving trademark protection.You can't really compare them.Saying a competing game is a DOTA is just like using Xerox in place of photocopier, Gillette in place of razor blade, "to Google" in place of "to search the Internet for". Common usages, misappropriating a brand name, but this does not preclude those brands from being trademarked.BTW, "WoW-like" can be seen as a sub-genre of MMOs with ample usage of instancing for group content, limits on how many players may join in a group and reap the benefits, little to no sandbox features, little to no death penalties, gear binding used to prevent players from obtaining most group rewards without actually doing the group content, etc. A surprisingly large number of MMOs fit this description, most (if not all) of them appearing after WoW proved successful."Diablo-like" was an even more common term back in the day. Given the absurd success Diablo and Diablo 2 had, and the amount of time Blizzard has taken to provide a new game in the series, a huge number of very similar games sprung up. I even purchased a few. And I clearly remember the gaming press calling them "Diablo-like" and similar terms.@JattTheRogue:Indie games, and mods - even if released for free - deserve protection just like games from big companies. The fact it's just a bunch of players coding in their fee time and without money to pay a lawyer does not make them any less deserving of copyright and trademark protection.Of course, DOTA shouldn't be able to distribute the parts from Warcraft 3 together with the mod. But the name "DOTA" was never Blizzard's; DOTA's developers were fee to trademark it from the start. And from the moment the devs removed the parts copyrighted and trademarked by Blizzard in order to release a new game, it's their game, to do as they want - which includes the right to make a partnership with a big Blizzard competitor.It's the same thing that happens when a programmer makes an iPhone app and ports it to Android. On the iPhone, he was using a series of iOS resources provided, and copyrighted, by Apple. When porting to Android, the developer removes those resources and uses corresponding Android resources provided by Google. This does not reduce in any way the developer's rights to the app, including the associated copyrights and trademarks.
2-17-2012 @ 10:04PM
@DarkWalkerMMORPG was not always considered a genre, the concept can trace it's lineage back to only 1 or 2 successful games. Just like DotA. I think that's part of the inherent problem with the whole trademarking thing and the lineage of DotA over the last years. It's BECOME a genre, even if it wasn't before.No, a lot of people don't know what a "Defense of the Ancients" or "Action Real Time Strategy" game is, but that's because it is (relatively) new to the scene as a game unto itself. What started as a mod for another game has now developed into it's own genre of other games and I for one think it's pretty awesome, Eul and Guinsoo and IceFrog have created something that will live on for a long time.On a side note, I personally think ARTS is better fitting than DotA as an all-encompassing name, but worse names have caught-on to describe things in the past....
2-18-2012 @ 6:44AM
@Zedd:The crux of the matter is not whether or not there is a genre of games similar to DOTA (or whether or not MMORPG is/was a genre). It's whether or not DOTA merits trademark protection.The specific term MMORPG never merited trademark protection because it was born as a generic term that tried to describe a nascent genre of games. It doesn't matter that the genre was in it's infancy. Trying to trademark it would be akin to trademarking "text editor" back when computing was in it's infancy; you can't trademark something that is just a generic description of the product.DOTA is not a generic term. It's a game name (or mod name, whatever), and not a generic description of the genre. The fact a whole genre sprung from games like it does not make "DOTA" any less deserving of trademark protection (and the fact it was not the first such game makes any claim that the name "DOTA" describes a genre even less valid).On the other hand, the terms "MOBA" and "ARTS" would not merit trademark protection simply because they ARE generic descriptions of the genre :)
2-18-2012 @ 7:27AM
What's this "trademark protection" crap - "protection" implies that the reason people want the term trademarked ISN'T just so they can make a ton of money off other people if they want to use it. Make no mistake, Valve isn't applying for trademark to "protect" the term DOTA, it's all about money and it's always about money. Personally, if people think DOTA is a genre term or has the potential to BE a genre term (which, if this trademark is prevented, it could bump it from "maybe a genre, to some people" to "probably a genre"), then hell, go for it. There's no reason why Valve can't still call its game DOTA 2, it just means it won't have a lockdown on the term DOTA - which, frankly, I don't have a problem with. People are so trademark-crazy these days its ridiculous.
2-18-2012 @ 1:35PM
@SaeadameWhat you might be missing is that Valve employs the current developer of DOTA. In other words, Valve is applying for the trademark with the blessings of the current DOTA developer.It's not simply a matter of Valve trying to profit from someone's else work. Valve offered the current DOTA developer a place to be, funding, and the chance to launch a new version of his game under the Valve label. Of course, there is money to be made, but the DOTA developer is getting what he most likely considers a fair cut - otherwise, he wouldn't be on board with Valve.So, IMHO, the only parties that have any legitimacy to block the trademark are the previous DOTA developers, the people that actually created and used the name before IceFrog became the developer.Blizzard trying to block the DOTA trademark strikes me as just a greedy company trying to prevent a developer from benefiting from his own work, from enjoying the exclusivity creators are entitled to by the law. Blizzard seems to want a free ride on DOTA's success, down to using the DOTA name, without having to pay anything to it's creators.
2-20-2012 @ 10:13PM
So I really wanted to say that it bugs me how commenters downvote everything they disagree with. I don't agree with DarkWalker's interpretation, but he's making cogent points in a clear and concise manner, and he's doing it respectfully. Why does that merit downvoting? I think other people have covered my disagreement with your earlier points fairly well dark, but as to your last point... Blizzard isn't trying to stop DOTA 2 being released, or trying to force valve to pay them for use of the name, they're just trying to stop them trademarking the name so that valve is the only company that can use it. Even without the tm, valve can still release DOTA 2, they can still call it DOTA 2,and they can still make bucketloads of money. EVEN IF they had to change the name to something else, Protection of the Elderly or something equally stupid, they're still going to sell a million copies, and Icefrog is still going to make a bundle from his hard work.
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