The lawsuit filed in 2014 by ZeniMax, owner of Bethesda which in turn acquired id Software in 2009, has reached the courts this week. Facebook puts all the meat on the grill to defend itself.
The story is long and we have been covering it since its inception, but it is summarized in the following points in which ZeniMax alleges acts of malpractice on the part of Oculus:
- Misappropriation of trade secrets, which includes both the use of such secrets and the hiring of ZeniMax employees.
- Copyright infringement against all defendants, including the use of Doom 3 BFG without permission.
- Breach of contract against all defendants, including Luckey’s use and disclosure of proprietary information under NDA.
- Unfair competition against Oculus, since Oculus VR broke the NDA agreement, appropriated ZeniMax’s intellectual property and used it for its own benefit without having obtained a license to use said technology or information, thus depriving ZeniMax of obtaining the benefits of said technology.
- Improper enrichment of the defendants, who “refused to compensate ZeniMax” for their contributions and also gained access to confidential information by hiring ZeniMax employees.
- Trademark infringement, for Oculus VR’s use of protected materials, including Doom, Rage and Skyrim.
- False designation against all defendants, because Oculus VR products “may” erroneously imply that they come from or have been authorized by ZeniMax.
You can read more details of the lawsuit in the news we published in 2014 about it. Back in the day, Oculus defended itself by claiming that:
- There is not a single line of code of Zenimax or its technology in any Oculus product.
- John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from ZeniMax.
- ZeniMax has incorrectly stated the purpose and terms of the nondisclosure agreement that Palmer signed.
- One of the key reasons Carmack left Zenimax in August 2013 was the ban on Carmack from continuing to work in virtual reality, at the same time that the company stopped investing in virtual reality.
- ZeniMax canceled support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus rejected their demands for Oculus equity participation.
- ZeniMax does not complain about intellectual properties, they never contributed any or technology to Oculus, and only after the purchase of Facebook is when their lawyers have made these statements.
- Although the entire Oculus SDK source code is available online, (developer.oculusvr.com ), ZeniMax has been unable to identify any ‘stolen’ code or technology.
In addition to this, Oculus claimed a few months later that ZeniMax’s purpose was none other than to take advantage of the agreement with Facebook to take a cut, indicating that ZeniMax had omitted some facts and had stated others incorrectly.
Finally, the courts will determine whether the $2 trillion lawsuit ($2 billion in these parts) has a reason to be and carries consequences for Facebook, owner of Oculus, or not. It seems that even Mark Zuckerberg himself will have to testify as a witness, so the story promises to be the most interesting.