Almost 10 years ago, Valve was involved in a turbulent, and controversial legal showdown with their then-publisher, Vivendi, regarding their bizarre and near-hostile practices (illegally distributing Valve games to Asian cyber cafes, withholding game royalties from Valve, purposely delaying CS: Condition Zero). Valve was victorious, although Activision Blizzard would later refuse to continue settlement payments to Valve.
Then, when Dota 2 was first revealed, and when Valve first filed for the trademark “DOTA”, Riot Games, the creators of the Action RTS title League of Legends (and the company that former Dota caretaker Steve “Guinsoo” Feak currently finds himself in the employ of), filed for ownership of the “Defense of the Ancients” trademark in direct opposition to Valve, as DotA-Allstars (the Riot Games subsidiary company owned by Guinsoo and Steve “Pendragon” Mescon, former community manager for Dota – the company would later be acquired by Blizzard, from Riot Games in 2011). What most people don’t know is that they also filed for ownership of the “DOTA” trademark itself, on the same day – for whatever reason, Pendragon and Guinsoo forgot to publicize that fact.
Then Rob Pardo of Blizzard also expressed his concern over Valve’s move – one year later, when the mediocre “Blizzard DotA” was revealed to the world, Frank Pearce of Blizzard would share the exact same thoughts on the issue… as would Mike Morhaime of Blizzard. Still, the general consensus was that, for the time being, Blizzard and Valve would keep the peace, and the trademark issue would ultimately be resolved in one way or another, hopefully with Valve acquiring both the DOTA and the “Defense of the Ancients” trademarks.
But sometimes it’s just too good to be true. And it is in this case. Just today, folks found out that about 3 months ago, Blizzard went on an all-out trademark dispute with Valve, over the “DOTA” trademark.