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Zenimax Doubles Down On Theft Allegations As Lawsuit With Oculus Begins

by Brian Shea on Jan 16, 2017 at 09:28 AM

With its trial against Oculus currently underway, ZeniMax has released a statement expressing confidence in its position. The $2 billion lawsuit alleges not only that id Software co-founder John Carmack stole several documents prior to his departure to Oculus to serve as its chief technology officer, but that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe knowingly spread a false story about how Luckey invented an early prototype of the Rift headset in his parents' garage. Iribe recently transitioned his role from CEO to head up a new PC division within Oculus. You can read the comments provided to Game Informer by a Zenimax representative below.

"With the start of the trial of our case in Federal District Court in Dallas against defendants Facebook, Oculus and its management, ZeniMax and id Software welcome the opportunity to present substantial evidence of the defendants' misappropriation of our Virtual Reality (VR) intellectual property. That evidence includes the theft of trade secrets and highly confidential information, including computer code. ZeniMax will also present evidence of the defendants' intentional destruction of evidence to cover up their wrongdoing. ZeniMax and id Software are the visionary developers of breakthrough VR technology, and look forward to the vindication of our claims."

As the trial began last week, Oculus publicly called out Zenimax in a statement to Upload VR. "We’re eager to present our case in court," the company said. "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.”


Our Take
Not that this hasn't been a long and ugly fight already, but this could get much worse before it reaches a resolution. Zenimax's statement exudes confidence, but as you saw in the statement from Oculus, the company doesn't appear to be backing down.