Zenimax takes Oculus to court over trade secrets, copyright infringement

Zenimax is taking its grievances with Oculus VR to the courts, reaffirming its previous claim that it wasn’t compensated for trade secrets handed to Oculus following the departure of John Carmack.

The suit was filed in federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleging the following:

  • That Oculus and its co-founder Palmer Luckey illegally misappropriated ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology.
  • That Zenimax copyrights and trademarks were infringed, with the firm specifically claiming "for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition against the defendants."

"Intellectual property forms the foundation of our business," ZeniMax Chairman & CEO Robert Altman said. "We cannot ignore the unlawful exploitation of intellectual property that we develop and own, nor will we allow misappropriation and infringement to go unaddressed."

"ZeniMax and id Software take their intellectual property rights seriously," P. Anthony Sammi, a representative of ZeniMax and id added. "We now look to the federal courts and will pursue all appropriate measures available under the law to rectify defendants’ egregious conduct."

Zenimax and id claim they tried to resolve the matter amicably with Oculus, but weren’t successful in their attempts. The firm focuses a good portion of its suit towards Luckey himself, alleging that the Oculus co-founder actually obtained much of his knowledge on virtual reality from Zenimax.

"Luckey has held himself out to the public as the visionary developer of virtual reality technology, when in fact the key technology Luckey used to establish Oculus was developed by ZeniMax," the company stated.

"ZeniMax’s intellectual property has provided the fundamental technology driving the Oculus Rift since its inception. Nevertheless, the defendants refused all requests from ZeniMax for reasonable compensation and continue to use ZeniMax’s intellectual property without authorization."

The suit comes on the heels of Facebook’s $2bn acquisition of the virtual reality company.

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