ZeniMax sues Oculus for 'theft' of trade secrets

ZeniMax sues Oculus for 'theft' of trade secrets
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

May 22nd 2014 at 11:12AM

id owner wants to be fully compensated for its ‘part’ in creating the start-up’s popular VR headset

ZeniMax Media, owner of developer id Software, has sued Oculus VR, claiming theft of trade secrets in the development of the gaming headset Oculus Rift.

ZeniMax and id are taking Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey and his team to court for allegedly stealing technically know-how by hiring away employees such as John Carmack for “unlawful use of its intellectual property”, according to the lawsuit filed in a federal court in Texas.

Carmack, the co-founder of id, who’s well known as the co-creator of Doom and Quake, has been accused of sharing knowledge that essential to Oculus’s existence, before and when he left the ZeniMax-owned studio.

He officially joined Oculus in August last year as CTO. He split his time between the two companies before leaving the studio and ZeniMax for good in November.

ZeniMax claims its “intellectual property provided the fundamental technology driving the Oculus Rift since its inception”.

With Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus for $2bn, ZeniMax said this has confirmed “the enormous value of the intellectual property that ZeniMax had created”, and it now wants full and fair compensation for the “unlawful use” of its IP.

Oculus VR hasn’t taken kindly to the accusations, and has responded with the following statement: “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.”