Oculus Fires Back At 'Silly, Money-Grabbing' ZeniMax Lawsuit

Oculus Fires Back At 'Silly, Money-Grabbing' ZeniMax Lawsuit

Last month, ZeniMax officially dropped the lawsuit hammer on Oculus, accusing the virtual reality company of "illegally misappropriating" their trade secrets in an extensive legal complaint. In the suit, ZeniMax alleged that Oculus had infringed upon their copyrights and trademarks, and that id Software co-founder John Carmack had provided technology to Oculus before he joined the company last year.

ZeniMax detailed a long list of complaints that alleged Oculus founder Palmer Luckey would have been unable to create the popular Rift 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 lawsuit said.

Today, Oculus fired back at ZeniMax, the parent company of Bethesda and publisher of a number of big games including Wolfenstein and Fallout. In an email, a PR representative for Oculus called the lawsuit "silly" and "money-grabbing".

Oculus's official response to the lawsuit, embedded below, claims that ZeniMax only took interest after Facebook's purchase of Oculus earlier this year for $US2 billion, alleging that ZeniMax never raised infringement claims until they saw a "perceived chance for a quick payout".

"ZeniMax's Complaint falsely claims ownership in Oculus VR technology in a transparent attempt to take advantage of the Oculus VR sale to Facebook," Oculus writes. "There is not a line of ZeniMax code or any of its technology in any Oculus VR product."

The response goes on to describe how Luckey developed the Oculus Rift, including photos of early prototypes and specific details about Luckey's relationship with Carmack.

Oculus Fires Back At 'Silly, Money-Grabbing' ZeniMax Lawsuit

"ZeniMax had a golden opportunity to make an early investment in Oculus VR and chose to pass," Oculus's response says. "The lawsuit is nothing more than ZeniMax seeking to correct for a massive missed opportunity through the assertion of meritless litigation."

Here's Oculus's full response:


    Good. I am not a huge fanboy of oculus but i hate to see companies just throwing around lawsuits to make easy money. It's not on. I hope Oculus comes out on top for this one.

      Wait, so you assume that whenever someone sues, it's always invalid? Have you even seen how much evidence zenimax actually has? Oculus will probably be fine but it still looks as if there was some legit wrongdoing. Oculus just responded by basically saying "nyah nyah".

        As far as evidence goes Zenimax does not have a lot to stand on except for mostly accusations. This is just a quick money grab lawsuit which most lawsuits these days tend to be.

          There's an extensive email trail between the two.

          Umm... have you actually seen Zenimax's initial filing?? There is quite a lot of evidence, including photos, video, and emails. Bear in mind that was just an initial filing. Undoubtedly Zenimax have more. By contrast Oculus have shown very little refuting evidence in their filing.

          It is pretty clear that Carmack was working in this during work hours and using Zenimax resources (how else would Zenmiax have the emails?) This clearly covers his input under the 'work for hire' clauses found in so many software developer's contracts (and apparently in Carmack's too). This wasn't a case of Carmack messing about with this in his spare time. At the very least they have a claim there.

          It is also clear that Zenimax offered some form of assistance to Luckey and Oculus. Videos showcasing the Rift being shot in Zenimax offices and such, and Oculus developers being provided with software and advice (with emails to prove it).

          If Zenimax really provided nothing to Oculus, as Oculus claim, then why did they offer them a 2.5% shareholding with the option to grow that with further investment? Sure, Zenimax's counteroffer was too high for Oculus's liking and discussions fell apart thereafter, but the fact they made the offer shows that Zenimax do actually have a case. This was prior to the Facebook buyout, so it is not a money grab.

    I am pretty sure Oculus / Facebook would have been alright either way.

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