Anyone with a PC and an inkling for action role-playing games will know that the Diablo series is one of the premier ways to grind away the hours slaying demons. The developers at Blizzard have spent decades creating role-playing adventures in the world of Sanctuary, and they have merchandized their franchise so fans can take their love of demon-slaying with them into the real world. Last week, the legal team at Blizzard found it odd that the Fox network was also trying to trademark the term Diablo for products, finding out that their hit game series shares a name with a canine character from the new animated series Housebroken.
The dog, played by Tony Hale (Arrested Development), is one of many characters on the show, and Fox was hoping to merchandise its likeness on everything from pet brushes to glassware. Blizzard is hoping to put a stop to these plans, filing an objection with the US Trademark and Patent Office stating that they fully own the term Diablo when it comes to merchandising.
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Although the Diablo franchise hasn’t been as prominent as Blizzard’s other franchises in recent times, there are two new entries on the horizon. The publisher argues that the upcoming release of Diablo Immortal on mobile and Diablo IV on PC would make any other use of the term that refers to an entertainment property confusing to the market. The filing also lists every accolade awarded to the series over the years as an attempt to show why the games are some of the best-selling PC titles of all time.
For their part, Fox has not responded to the objection as of yet. Housebroken has not yet premiered on the network, so it’s unclear if those merchandising rights would be utilized to the fullest or shoved aside in the case of a ratings bomb. Either way, gamers and non-gamers alike can tune in on May 31 during Fox’s Animation Domination block to see the four-legged friend that Blizzard is trying to push out of the spotlight.
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