[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Oculus VR issued a statement regarding ZeniMax's lawsuit.
"The lawsuit filed by ZeniMax has no merit whatsoever. As we have previously said, ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology. Oculus will defend these claims vigorously."
The original story is below.
Earlier this month, ZeniMax accused Oculus VR of stealing virtual reality technology that would later become popular headset Oculus Rift, which Facebook purchased for $2 billion just two months ago. Now, the Fallout and Elder Scrolls parent company has filed an official lawsuit against Oculus VR and 21-year-old founder Palmer Luckey.
The suit accuses Oculus VR of "illegally misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology, and infringing ZeniMax copyrights and trademarks." It also accuses Oculus VR of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition. The suit, some 55 pages in total, was filed today in U.S. District Court in Texas.
"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" -- ZeniMax
ZeniMax further claims that defendants Oculus VR and Luckey unlawfully exploited ZeniMax's intellectual property, including trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and "technical know-how" related to virtual reality.
Legendary game designer John Carmack is at the heart of the matter. He worked on virtual reality technology while employed at id Software, and ZeniMax claims that this technology, "developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment," should belong to them.
The suit goes on to say that defendants "refused all requests" from ZeniMax to compensate them and that they continue to use ZeniMax's intellectual property "without authorization."
"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," ZeniMax said in a statement.
In a statement earlier this month, Oculus VR said it is confident that it can prove that "all of [ZeniMax's] claims are false." The company went on to say at the time that there is not a line of ZeniMax code or any of its technology in Oculus products and that Carmack did not take any intellectual property from ZeniMax. We have reached out to an Oculus VR representative for comment regarding ZeniMax's lawsuit.
"Intellectual property forms the foundation of our business," ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman said in a statement. "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," ZeniMax's legal counsel Anthony Sammi said in a statement. "We now look to the federal courts and will pursue all appropriate measures available under the law to rectify defendants' egregious conduct."
ZeniMax is seeking unspecified damages and a trial by jury for the case. We will continue to monitor this story as it develops.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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