Update: Oculus has offered a statement regarding the legal action taken against it by Zenimax and Id Software.

Here's the official statement from Oculus Rift:

The lawsuit filed by ZeniMax has no merit whatsoever. As we have previously said, ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology. Oculus will defend these claims vigorously.


Original Story:

After issuing claims that John Carmack misappropriated technology from Zenimax and Id Software to take to Oculus Rift, the publisher and developer have moved forward and filed suit.

Carmack and Oculus Rift responded to the claim, the latter offering a bullet-point list refuting the claims. Zenimax and Id Software have decided to move forward with a lawsuit. In a press release announcing the lawsuit, Zenimax and Id writes it is filing suit against Oculus Rift for, "illegally misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology, and infringing ZeniMax copyrights and trademarks." Claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition are also being brought forward.

The statement also says that attempts to resolve the matter amicably have been unsuccessful, specifically calling out Oculus Rift's statement that, “Zenimax has never contributed IP or technology to Oculus.”

Here is the full text outlining the nature of the action in Zenimax and Id's filed suit:

Under a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement, ZeniMax provided Defendants with access to intellectual property developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment. This valuable intellectual property included copyrighted computer code, trade secret information, and technical know-how. The Non-Disclosure Agreement expressly provides that ZeniMax’s intellectual property is confidential, owned exclusively by ZeniMax, and cannot be disclosed to or used by any third parties without ZeniMax’s prior written approval. Defendants have wrongfully taken that ZeniMax intellectual property and commercially exploited it for their own gain. Defendants now stand to realize billions of dollars in value from ZeniMax’s intellectual property. Defendants never obtained a license for the use of ZeniMax’s property, nor any right to sell or transfer it to third parties. By this action, ZeniMax seeks damages that will fairly and fully compensate it for Defendants’ infringement and misappropriation of its intellectual property. Without this relief, Defendants will continue to profit unjustly.

You can see the full press release by heading to page two. You can also download the full, legal complaint document here.

Zenimax is declining to provide any additional statements at the moment, following the release of this press release. We've reached out to Oculus for a statement and will update if and when we receive a statement or response.


Our Take
This is a complicated lawsuit, and one that is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Both are powerful companies (especially after Oculus' recent acquisition), and both appear to have substantial, but competing claims.