Having already issued a statement insisting the lawsuit ZeniMax filed against it "has no merit whatsoever," Oculus VR began its defense began today with a response to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas. A copy of the response shared by an Oculus PR representative--who labeled the lawsuit a "silly, money grabbing" one--states, "ZeniMax's Complaint falsely claims ownership in Oculus VR technology in a transparent attempt to take advantage of the Oculus VR sale to Facebook.
"By deliberately misstating some facts and omitting others, ZeniMax makes the incredible assertion that it, a video game software publishing company for personal computers and consoles like the Sony PlayStation, invented and developed a virtual reality hardware and software system. The truth is quite different."
The response goes on to claim that not a single line of code (nor any technology) belonging to ZeniMax is used in any of Oculus VR's products. It questions the timing of this lawsuit--which came just two months after Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion--noting that ZeniMax had access to the source code for Oculus VR's software "for over a year and a half."
"Until the Facebook deal, and the perceived chance for a quick payout, ZeniMax never raised any claim of infringement against Oculus VR, undoubtedly because ZeniMax never has contributed any intellectual property or technology to Oculus VR," Oculus says in its answer to ZeniMax's lawsuit.
The response lays out exactly how Oculus CTO John Carmack (who previously worked for id Software, which ZeniMax owns) came to work on the Oculus Rift, and how he has repeatedly dismissed incorrect assumptions that he had been responsible for creating it in recent years.
"ZeniMax had a golden opportunity to make an early investment in Oculus VR and chose to pass," Oculus says. "The lawsuit is nothing more than ZeniMax seeking to correct for a massive missed opportunity through the assertion of meritless litigation."
Oculus requests that a jury trial be held to deal with ZeniMax's allegations. ZeniMax's lawsuit had also asked for a jury trial.
Early last month, it was reported that ZeniMax--the owner of developers like Elder Scrolls maker Bethesda Softworks--was claiming the rights to the intellectual property used in the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. It alleged that it had "provided necessary VR technology and other valuable assistance" to Oculus VR, which soon after vehemently denied any such claims. Later in the month, ZeniMax officially filed suit, though it failed to identify the damages it was seeking.