UPDATED: Zenimax Suit Against Oculus Heads to Trial

UPDATED: Zenimax Suit Against Oculus Heads to Trial

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UPDATE: An Oculus spokesperson reached out to The Escapist and offered the following official statement on the case going to trial:

"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."


ORIGINAL STORY: The long-running Zenimax lawsuit against Oculus is heading to court.

Way back in 2014, Zenimax filed a lawsuit against Oculus, alleging that the VR company and its founder, Palmer Luckey, had illegally obtained virtual reality trade secrets. ZeniMax claimed that it, not Luckey, was responsible for developing the technology behind the Oculus VR headset. In August of 2016, the complaint was amended to include claims of IP theft by John Carmack.

An Oculus representative was quoted by UploadVR as saying, "This complaint filed by ZeniMax is one-sided and conveys only ZeniMax's interpretation of the story. We continue to believe this case has no merit, and we will address all of ZeniMax's allegations in court."

Zenimax is seeking $2 billion in damages, which (probably not coincidentally) is the exact amount that Facebook paid when it acquired Oculus in 2014. The case is scheduled to last three weeks, and will be heard in Dallas, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas. We'll keep an eye on the progress, and keep you posted on any news or rulings. If you want to follow the case, it's listed as ZeniMax Media Inc. v. Oculus VR Inc., 3:14-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

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I really don't know why - honestly, I don't have a dog in this fight nor an axe to grind with either of these companies - but for some reason I really hope that ZeniMax wins. o.o

On the one hand, John Carmack doesn't need to steal code.

On the other hand, John Carmack would totally steal code.

As much as Oculus has done a lot of shitty decisions last year, I still hope ZeniMax crashes and burns in this matter.

RJ 17:
I really don't know why - honestly, I don't have a dog in this fight nor an axe to grind with either of these companies - but for some reason I really hope that ZeniMax wins. o.o

It's funny I kind of agree... I never thought I would say that about a Law firm before...

Well, I for one hope ZeniMax loses, because this sort of litigation is poisonous to technical innovation and software development in general.

Pyrian:
Well, I for one hope ZeniMax loses, because this sort of litigation is poisonous to technical innovation and software development in general.

I honestly don't root for anthing but the truth coming out in cases like this. If the claims Zenimax made in its filing are true - that Palmer Luckey took tech that Zenimax created and used it to make Oculus work, and that Carmack lifted thousands of company documents right before leaving to work for Oculus - then I hope Zenimax wins. If those claims are false, then I hope Oculus wins.

In short, if Zenimax made the thing work, they should get the credit for it. If not, then they shouldn't.

ffronw:

Pyrian:
Well, I for one hope ZeniMax loses, because this sort of litigation is poisonous to technical innovation and software development in general.

I honestly don't root for anthing but the truth coming out in cases like this. If the claims Zenimax made in its filing are true - that Palmer Luckey took tech that Zenimax created and used it to make Oculus work, and that Carmack lifted thousands of company documents right before leaving to work for Oculus - then I hope Zenimax wins. If those claims are false, then I hope Oculus wins.

In short, if Zenimax made the thing work, they should get the credit for it. If not, then they shouldn't.

I hope for mutually assured destruction, myself: VR's nothing more than the latest fad and it'll be no real loss if it vanishes.

ffronw:
In short, if Zenimax made the thing work, they should get the credit for it. If not, then they shouldn't.

Zenimax didn't make the thing work. That's simply a fact. They. Didn't. Make. It. Work. They almost certainly contributed in some way, even if just in relevant experience; but they obviously didn't contribute anything that couldn't be replicated or replaced with a little bit of time and determination. But they didn't build it. And they want the full and complete fruits of an actual working device. IF everything they say is true (highly unlikely) they still only deserve the market value of what they actually did at most - or, better, that their actual code not be used (and easily replaced).

Pyrian:
but they obviously didn't contribute anything that couldn't be replicated or replaced with a little bit of time and determination. But they didn't build it. And they want the full and complete fruits of an actual working device. IF everything they say is true (highly unlikely) they still only deserve the market value of what they actually did at most - or, better, that their actual code not be used (and easily replaced).

But it was still stolen....The ends don't justify the means in the court of law. Even then ZeniMax has invest money via R&D so compensation is expected in that area, Oculus has also made profit off it so ZeniMax deserves a cut and there's also the point to penalise Oculus for illegal (civilly speaking) and immoral behaviour.

Will ZeniMax get 2 Billion if they win? Probably not but it won't be too far off.

Pyrian:
Zenimax didn't make the thing work. That's simply a fact. They. Didn't. Make. It. Work. They almost certainly contributed in some way, even if just in relevant experience; but they obviously didn't contribute anything that couldn't be replicated or replaced with a little bit of time and determination. But they didn't build it. And they want the full and complete fruits of an actual working device. IF everything they say is true (highly unlikely) they still only deserve the market value of what they actually did at most - or, better, that their actual code not be used (and easily replaced).

Have you read the complaint? If what Zenimax alleges - that Luckey couldn't get the Oculus to work without Carmack holding his hand throughout, even in presentations at shows - then yeah, they made it work. Maybe Carmack technically made it work, but Zenimax owned his work product.

Again, I am not saying that any of what Zenimax said is true. I'm just saying that if it is, they should win.

Pyrian:
Well, I for one hope ZeniMax loses, because this sort of litigation is poisonous to technical innovation and software development in general.

So is theft of intellectual property. If anyone can steal your ideas with impunity, why do the research in the first place?

I'm not saying I have any kind of insight into who is in the right here. I am glad that we have a courts system (more or less) equipped to fairly adjudicate these matters.

Cap'nPipsqueak:
I hope for mutually assured destruction, myself: VR's nothing more than the latest fad and it'll be no real loss if it vanishes.

Huh. Even if applications in gaming are a bust, you see no applications for VR in medicine, construction or engineering? I don't think you're seeing the bigger picture here.

Nice touch with the case number. That's more informative than the usual ad-news.

Don't really like Oculus but it looks like Zenimax's lawyers are being dicks again - these are the same folks that sue Mojang for their Scroll game ...

 

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