Mark Zuckerberg, the well-known owner of the social media giant Facebook, has to testify in court over a $2 billion lawsuit. ZeniMax Media filed the lawsuit against Oculus and co-founder Palmer Luckey. Since Facebook is now the owner of Oculus, ZeniMax added Facebook to the lawsuit. ZeniMax says Facebook knew that Oculus stole ZeniMax’s tech but purchased the company regardless.
ZeniMax who owns id Software, a video game developer, filed the suit back in 2014. Facebook also made a $2 billion purchase of Oculus during the same time frame. The lawsuit also accuses Facebook of trying to “leverage and commercially exploit” ZeniMax technology.
However, Oculus denies the allegations that it stole anything. In fact, a spokesperson for the company insisted Oculus “invested” a large amount of time and money to further develop its virtual reality technology. The spokesperson commented that the company was “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.”
In retort to that statement, ZeniMax said it would produce “substantial evidence” to support its claim of the stolen VR tech. ZeniMax stated “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.”
Carmack is the co-founder of id Software who’s known for developing the first person shooter I the popular video game Doom. Carmack and ZeniMax met with Luckey back in 2012 to discuss the development of Rift, a VR headset. In the lawsuit, ZeniMax says it took the Rift technology, reshaped, and further expanded it “from $500-worth of optics into a powerful, immersive virtual reality experience.”
Not long after ZeniMax displayed its new technology, Luckey created Oculus. The Rift headset brought in $2.4 million. Yet instead of giving ZeniMax the compensation for use of its technology, Oculus instead reached out it ZeniMax employees as well as Carmack to join the Oculus team.
The lawsuit included that Oculus created a factitious story of a youth who created virtual reality technology in his parents’ garage. In fact, the suit states “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.”
Overall, the lawsuit reproaches Oculus, and Facebook, for copyright infringement on “Doom 3”, the misappropriation of ZeniMax trade secrets, and that Oculus violated a non-disclosure agreement.
Luckey testifies sometime later in the week whereas Carmack testified earlier last week.