Riot Games Counter-Files ‘Defense Of The Ancients’ Trademark

Riot Games Counter-Files 'Defense Of The Ancients' Trademark

League Of Legends developer responds to Valve’s trademarking of ‘DotA‘, aiming to keep the game open to modding community.

Riot Games, the developer League of Legends, has counter-filed a trademark application for ‘Defense Of The Ancients‘ in response to Valve Software’s recent copyright application for acronym ‘DotA‘.

"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," said DotA-Allstars.com creator and director of community relations at Riot Games Steve Mescon during a PC Gamer interview. "If we were to obtain the trademark, we would keep the game and the DotA name freely available to the mod community."

Defense of the Ancients is a Warcraft III mod in which opposing teams must destroy their opponents’ heavily guarded structures while defending their own. League Of Legends, which exceeded one million downloads within three months of launch, is a standalone game inspired by the mod.

"As someone who worked with DotA for years, seeing developers of Valve’s caliber take an interest in this genre is always exciting," said Mescon. "Hundreds of people have worked on DotA in its many forms over the years, and millions have played the game, and certainly this type of attention demonstrates how far DotA has come.

"However, the idea that one single company is taking control of the name of something that hundreds of people have contributed to is surprising. I believe DotA should always remain a community-owned product that modders, independent developers and game fans can continue to modify and play as often as they’d like,"

Mescon said that Riot Games has given Valve "the benefit of the doubt" due to their history of supporting modding communities, but that it is concerned that ownership of the name by a single organisation may curtail modders continued contributions to the game.

"I think the best-case scenario would be that nobody owns the trademark to the ‘DotA‘ name," he said. "But if Valve were to ultimately gain the rights, I hope that they would abandon the trademark and release it to the community to allow them to continue to modify, play and experience DotA for free. That’s what DotA is all about."