Seeking to protect its long-held trademark, Blizzard has filed a Notice of Opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block Fox from trademarking Diablo, one of the canine characters from the upcoming animated series Housebroken.
Blizzard’s Diablo is a series of action role-playing video games in which players battle against the forces of evil. Fox’s Diablo is one of the pets who gets psychoanalyzed in the animated series Housebroken, which is about a therapy dog named Honey who provides therapy to other animals. Blizzard has had Diablo trademarks in place since 1996. Fox applied for its Diablo trademark in June of last year, looking to use the name and likeness of its animated pupper for stuff like plates, dishes, pet bowls, pet treats, pet litter, and other TV show merch.
Blizzard’s Notice of Opposition, viewable on the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office website (via Gamesindustry.biz), aims to block Fox’s filing, putting forth the notion that the public might confuse the long-running game series with Diablo the dog.
In view of the fact that the marks at issue are identical, and in consideration of other factors such as the relationship between Opposer’s goods and services as identified by the mark DIABLO and Applicant’s Goods and the commercial strength of Opposer’s mark, it is likely that members of the public will erroneously believe that Applicant’s Goods offered under the DIABLO mark originate with, or are in some manner connected or associated with, or sponsored by, Opposer, all to the harm of Opposer’s goodwill and reputation.
After reading through the document, I am firmly convinced that Blizzard should change its name to Opposer. And though I can’t imagine anyone confusing Diablo the games with Diablo the cartoon animal, the past few years have convinced me people have the capacity for great stupidity, and anything dumb is possible.