Blizzard has fired a warning shot across Valve's sleek, streamlined bow over use of the DOTA trademark.
Blizzard game design lead Rob Pardo said in an interview with Eurogamer that since Defence of the Ancients came out of the Blizzard WarCraft 3 community, Valve trademarking DotA for the purposes of developing DOTA 2 "doesn't seem the right thing to do".
Pardo described his reaction to the trademarking as one of "confusion", saying that "It just seems a really strange move to us that Valve would go off and try to exclusively trademark the term considering it's something that's been freely available to us and everyone in the Warcraft III community up to this point.
"Valve is usually so pro mod community. It's such a community company that it just seems like a really strange move to us... I really don't understand why [they would do it], to be honest."
The question is, why kick up a fuss now, as opposed to when Valve first trademarked DOTA, or when they announced DOTA 2 earlier this month?
Well, it almost certainly relates to Blizzard's own DOTA announcement at BlizzCon this weekend- among the free, internally developed mods Blizzard is developing for StarCraft 2 is "Defence of the Ancients", which will feature characters from StarCraft, WarCraft and Diablo all taking part in a non-canonical multiplayer scrap.
When asked what would happen if Valve objected to Blizzard's use of the DOTA name, Pardo replied "Our response is that they don't own the term DOTA at this point. It's something that they're filing for."
You see those? Those are fightin' words. It could be that if Valve don't give Blizzard free access to the DOTA name, the fearsome entity that is Activision Blizzard will set to work prying the DOTA trademark from Valve's hands. And with no small amount of DOTA spinoffs already in the wild, the official name is definitely a valuable thing to have.