The Oculus/Zenimax Court Battle Is Underway…And It’s Getting Ugly

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Oculus

A while back, ZeniMax Media, who owns Bethesda amongst other assets, filed a lawsuit against Oculus, indicating that there was an alleged misappropriation of intellectual property revolving around the Oculus Rift, amongst other tech. The trial has officially gone underway, but that hasn’t stopped Oculus from slinging mud at its rival.

Posted on Upload VR, Oculus posted a statement noting, "We’re eager to present our case in court. Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate. We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build.”

ZeniMax is seeking $2 billion in damages, and you can read more about the official complaint here. It was originally filed back in 2013, when John Carmack left id software to work with the Oculus team. Shortly thereafter, ZeniMax filed the suit, noting that Oculus was responsible for "illegally misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology, and infringing ZeniMax copyrights and trademarks." It further claimed that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey "lacked the training, expertise, resources, or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax's computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift."

Oculus replied, "There is not a line of ZeniMax code or any of its technology in any Oculus VR product. Indeed, ZeniMax had never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology in any Oculus VR product, although ZeniMax had the full source code for the Oculus VR software for over a year and a half (having received it directly from Oculus VR well before it was even released publicly), and could have analyzed it online anytime (at developer.oculusvr.com).”

Hang on tight, folks. This may get ugly.

Robert Workman

Robert Workman has spent years working in the video game industry, for sites like Shacknews, AOL GameDaily and Marooners Rock. He's also very skilled in contributing to podcasts and video broadcasts, and can pretty much out-game you under the table. Oh, and just go ahead and ask him about glorious craft beers. Go on, ask him.

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