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Not long after Facebook announced they were buying Oculus Rift, Zenimax filed a lawsuit against the VR company, accusing them and John Carmack of stealing trade secrets and tech when Carmack left Zenimax for Oculus VR. Specifically, Zenimax has claimed that Oculus would never have been able to create the tech without Zenimax's help.
"Rather than compensate ZeniMax for the use of its intellectual property, Defendants then sought to obtain additional virtual reality know-how by recruiting ZeniMax employees, including Carmack, to join Oculus," the petition claims.
Oculus has fired back with their answer to the lawsuit, and in a PR email about the lawsuit, Oculus has called the lawsuit "silly" and "money-grabbing."
In the company's answer to Zenimax's petition, they said almost exactly that:
ZeniMax's Complaint falsely claims ownership in Oculus VR technology in a transparent attempt to take advantage of the Oculus VR sale to Facebook. There is not a line of ZeniMax code or any of its technology in any Oculus VR product.
As additional proof that Oculus never stole tech from Zenimax or that Carmack helped them develop the product, they provided the electronic communication below from John Carmack. The first one is from Carmack to VR founder Palmer Luckey before E3 2012, when Carmack showed off the product for the first time.
I am doing my best to not let anyone mistake the Rift as my work, but I’m sure someone is going to get it confused next week. I am sensitive to the fact that the press has a tendency to over-attribute things to me because ‘genius inventor is such a convenient story hook.
Carmack also posted this on an online message board on June 7, 2012:
I warned [Luckey] ahead of time that it was a foregone conclusion that some of the media would report the Rift as my work, despite by very explicit description otherwise.
This lawsuit is going to be one interesting ride over the next year or so, as I don't see Oculus settling based on principle.
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