Tuesday January 10, 2017

VR gets Ugly with Facebook and ZeniMax over Oculus

And you thought having a VR face condom on hand was a PITA? Facebook is being taken to task by ZeniMax as it alleges that FaceBook stole Oculus VR technology.

Facebook Inc. bet early on virtual reality, buying Oculus VR 2 1/2 years ago to get its groundbreaking headset. Now it’s fighting claims that the Oculus Rift was built with stolen technology and promoted with a false origin story about a young entrepreneur tinkering in his parents’ garage.

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And this looks like it is going to get ugly too for The Zuck and our friend Carmack of DOOM fame.

Carmack, who became chief technology officer of Oculus, said in a December court filing that his employment agreement at ZeniMax allowed him to be involved in Oculus because it wasn’t a gaming company in competition with ZeniMax. He said ZeniMax allowed him to publicly disclose his virtual reality research.

Seeing the case is here in Dallas, maybe I will get a chance to get over and see who screws the pooch on the stand. I will have to look into the rules of being in the courtroom.

The case is ZeniMax Media Inc. v. Oculus VR Inc., 3:14-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

Ongoing Discussion

Update: Oculus representatives did reach out today to as they "wanted to provide you our on-the-record statement and request that you update your article to include it. Can you let me know?"

"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." آ– Oculus spokesperson

Now to find this anonymous "Oculus spokesperson" in the hallowed halls of the Federal Court building here in North Texas.