Valve Challenged by Riot Games Over DotA Trademark

On the eve of Valve’s attempts at trademarking “DotA”, Riot Games has entered the fray with their own filing. After it became common knowledge that Valve was attempting to make their own Defense of the Ancients game, the company recently filed a “DotA” trademark for extended use. This in turn seemed to have irked the original creators of the immensely popular Warcraft III mod now currently residing as Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends. They expressed their concerns in an interview with Joystiq:

Mescon said he understands why Valve would want to make a DotA-inspired game, but told Joystiq that he was “surprised that [Valve have] decided to try to trademark the DotA name, because it goes against what [he] and others believe DotA means to the community.” He suggested that by trademarking the name, Valve is attempting to take ownership of the name and “exercising control over its future.” Mescon believes the “DotA name should remain the property of the community at-large, as it always has.

Apparently they weren’t just going to sit down and let it happen either. Just three days after Valve filed their “DotA” trademark, Riot Games filed a similar “Defense of the Ancients” trademark themselves. They defended their actions in an interview with PC Gamer:

We have filed for the “Defense of the Ancients” trademark to protect the work that dozens of authors have done to create the game and on behalf of the millions of DotA players all over the world.

At the present, Steven Mescon, the community relations director for League of Legends is reserving judgement:

We give Valve the benefit of the doubt because of their history, but our concern is that by a single organization taking ownership of the name, the community at large would no longer be able to contribute to DotA like they have for years.

A conflict like this between two well respected PC gaming companies will no doubt send shock waves throughout the community as it can get very, very ugly if gamers begin to start taking sides on the situation.

We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

Joystiq Interview
PC Gamer Interview