Blizzard battles Fox over a cartoon dog named Diablo

Diablo from Housebroken
(Image credit: Fox Media)

Blizzard has filed an opposition to a Fox Media application for a trademark on the word "Diablo," arguing, as you'd expect, that it's held a trademark on the term for a long time now, and that the products bearing the mark "have enjoyed enormous commercial success, won various industry awards, and been the subject of substantial, unsolicited media attention."

The opposition comes specifically in response to two Fox filings using the Diablo name:

  • Pet food; edible pet treats; pet treats in the nature of bully sticks; beverages for animals; pet beverages; bird treats; bird seed; electrolyte drink mix for pets; consumable pet chews; edible food for animals for chewing; dog biscuits; milk replacers for animals; animal foodstuffs; food for animals; animal feed; animal litter
  • Beverage glassware, cups, mugs, drinking glasses, and bottles sold empty; bottle openers; dinnerware, namely, plates, cups, bowls and saucers; toothbrushes; plastic coasters; thermal insulated wrap for cans to keep the contents cold or hot; plastic plates and plastic cups; paper plates and paper cups; cookie jars; lunch boxes; salt and pepper shakers; hair brushes; drinking straws; lunch bags made of textile; oven mitts; barbecue mitts; pet bowls; pet treat jars; pet brushes; drinkware water bottles sold empty

Blizzard's opposition filing says Fox's filing is for "merchandise associated with a television series or other entertainment property," which would apparently be an upcoming animated series called Housebroken. The show is about a group of neighborhood pets and stray animals who share their thoughts and struggles in group therapy sessions, including a small dog named—you guessed it—Diablo.

Blizzard obviously has a valid claim on the trademark, so what's in question is whether there's enough (that is, too much) similarity between its holding and what Fox has filed for. Its Diablo filing might seem oddly scattershot, but Blizzard has made pretty broad use of the term itself, "including drinkware, drink coasters, bottle openers, drawstring backpacks, statues, artwork, books, and journals," according to the filing.

As it currently stands, Fox Media has been informed of Blizzard's opposition, and has 40 days (from April 26, when the notice was sent) to file a reply. If you're curious about the show behind the kerfuffle, Housebroken is set to debut on May 31.

Thanks, PCGamesN.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.