After Winning Lawsuit Against Facebook, ZeniMax Sues Samsung Over VR

ZeniMax files another lawsuit.


ZeniMax, the parent company of Fallout and Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda, has launched another lawsuit related to virtual reality. Having already successfully sued Facebook over Oculus Rift (and winning a $500 million judgement in the process), ZeniMax has now filed a lawsuit against Samsung over its Gear VR headset. Samsung worked with Oculus on Gear VR, and the suit claims that Samsung profited from Oculus technology, which it claims should be sourced to ZeniMax.

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According to The Verge, ZeniMax's lawsuit claims that John Carmack, a former ZeniMax employee when he worked at id Software, "secretly brought Oculus (and former ZeniMax) employee Matt Hooper into id Software's offices to develop an 'attack plan' for mobile VR, which Oculus would later take to Samsung."

ZeniMax is arguing that Samsung should have been aware of the company's lawsuit against Oculus, but the suit states that Samsung "continued to develop the Gear VR with full knowledge of ZeniMax's allegations and without obtaining any right or permission from ZeniMax to use any of its copyrights or other confidential information."

In terms of specifics, ZeniMax alleges copyright infringement for code used in Gear VR, along with "trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment."

What impact the ZeniMax case against Facebook has on the company's new battle with Samsung remains to be seen. We'll report back with more details on this case as they become available.

In the wake of the $500 million award to ZeniMax from the Facebook case, Carmack launched a lawsuit of his own against ZeniMax, seeking $22.5 million.

For more on the ZeniMax/Oculus case, check out GameSpot's interview feature with Oculus VP Jason Rubin below.

Disclosure: Leslie Moonves, the CEO of GameSpot parent company CBS Corp., is on the ZeniMax board of directors.

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Avatar image for asnakeneverdies

I hope Samsung develops a new explosive phone and deploys a bunch of 'em all over those greedy bastards!

Avatar image for lostn

Zenimax, get over yourself.

You won half a billion already. Go and count your money.

Avatar image for bigmike1g

This is no case. They already won a judgement against the liable party. That 500 million was the judgement of the loss they sustained from the situation. Oculus profited from the tech due to deals with samsung and others. That's what is already included in the 500 million settlement. Can't be compensated twice for the same thing.

Avatar image for lostn

@bigmike1g: Actually, the $500m awarded to them wasn't because the court found Oculus guilty of stealing Zenimax tech. $150m was from trademark infringement, $50 payable by Palmer Luckey was from violating an NDA.

Breakdown: Oculus pays $200M for NDA, $50M for false des, $50M for copyright, Luckey pays $50M false des, Iribe pays $150M false des

Zenimax's claim that Oculus VR tech was built by Zenimax and stolen was not upheld. Zenimax wanted 4 billion I think, and got 0.5B, due to NDA, false designation, and copyright infringement.

They could not prove that Oculus stole Zenimax tech to build the Rift or that they are the ones who created the VR tech. They have even less of a case against Samsung who simply licensed the tech from Oculus. If the tech was stolen, it's Oculus that's guilty not Samsung. They licensed the tech in good faith. Zenimax would have to take it up with Oculus. Samsung knows not what went on, and can't be responsible for things that happened without their knowledge. They'd be a victim themselves for licensing tech that was illegally gotten because they didn't know it was illegally gotten. But that's if Zenimax can prove it, which they haven't.

The case against Samsung rests on the case against Oculus which has yet to be proven. They were awarded only 0.5B out of 4B they wanted, which means the majority of their claims were dismissed by the court.

Avatar image for dragonsama

Headline should read.

Billion dollar company sues Billion dollar company Part 2.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

You had a claim against Oculus, not so much here.

Avatar image for rmokeefe76

Go Zenimax!

Avatar image for barcaazul

Then Samsung can sue Facebook, as they probably paid them something.

Avatar image for Saladudo

Meanwhile, Carmack is still waiting for the attorney to explain by himself in detail how every line in the code allegedly 'created by ZeniMax' and the one used on the Oculus are the same.

Avatar image for Saladudo

The same company that sued a studio for the use of the word "scroll"

Avatar image for jyml8582

the fiend has tasted blood, now it is unstoppable...

Avatar image for czlapaj2

Great...goot that i use HTC Vive and PS VR only :)

Avatar image for zaselim

They are pushing their luck.

Avatar image for games2525

it seems this company tries to grab money from the meanwhile all they do is publish broken and buggy they ll sue the user base because they should have known what they bought.i think they are worst than E.A.

Avatar image for SchNerdy

I'm done with anything to do with this company

Avatar image for Jarten

This is just getting ridiculous, it's bad enough that Zenimax is going after Indy game developers because they had the word Prey in their name "Prey for the Gods" when it wasn't even being used in any wrongful way against the "Prey" IP. I get that this is a different circumstance and all, but I think they are feeling way too entitled to things. All because someone had an idea doesn't make it theirs. Would be like saying that the person who discovered that 1+1=2 could sue over the fact that someone else came up with 2+2=4 based off of their idea of Adding. So someone worked for them and left and used what they learned to make something for someone else. So what? If I learned how to use C++ from one company then used C++ for another one later on would that be grounds enough for someone to sue me because I am using the same programming language? They should just be happy that other people are just as or even more passionate for wanting to have VR around. Seems like all they see is just $$$ signs and I hate it.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Jarten: this someone you refer to admitted to stealing therefore he did more wrong then just leaving and using what he learned somewhere else.

Avatar image for Jarten

@cornbredx: I just went and read the thing saying he admitted to taking data off their computers. On that we are agreed on that what he did was wrong. To me it just means that Zenimax should going after him for it all. It doesn't say that Oculus knew what he had done and knowingly used it with the intention of undercutting Zenimax. What I also do not agree with is that by going after more than the source of the information theft, they are potentially hurting more people and their livelihoods because of one person's actions of which they quite likely had no knowledge of. It also, still doesn't excuse the other unrelated situations in which Zenimax's lawers are going over the top with trying to find things to sue or threaten to sue for when there is no need to.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Jarten: here's the thing. If You break the law it doesn't matter if you know you did or not (they did, come on you don't trust Zenimax but you trust Oculus/Facebook? Or Samsung for that matter), a crime was committed and they are within their rights to seek compensation.

I would do so as well. To say you would not is both naivete and untrue.

Avatar image for Jarten

@cornbredx: Sorry for the length's of these responses, I'm terrible at keeping them small half the time. I'm not really saying that I trust either Oculus, Facebook, or Samsung. To me it's more about the principle that the person who did the stealing should be the one to pay, and if Oculus and or Samsung was intentionally involved in it then they should as well. From what I was reading on the Verge's article Zenimax is claiming that Samsung knowingly took part in the creation and sales of the Gear VR with Oculus while they knew Oculus was already in a lawsuit for the use of stolen property, if that is true then they could be an accessory and would also need to pay back Zenimax for damages.

The thing that is bugging me though is how they (Zenimax and others) can claim that something is infringing on their own thing and cause loss on another party that could be innocent because there is a chance (although really slim) that the other side was doing their own thing and it happened to be making use of something similar method-wise. People are constantly learning from and changing the work of what other people have done then selling it as their own products. Or to bring it up again, partly because it still urks and bugs me, in cases like "Scrolls", or "Prey for the God's" where they didn't even have anything in common with "Prey" or "The Elder Scrolls" minus the one word which wasn't being used as an intentional means to steal from the IP. It was just a choice of commonly used words that the company who happened to be Zenimax (while it could have been any other one), for some odd reason felt that they had to call them out on the use of word choice and threaten lawsuits. To me what are the limits that these companies can take? I myself have a personal game project that I am working on where trying to come up with a name for it has me worried that I might run into something similar because it has the word "Adventure" in the title.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Jarten: the length of your comments are fine. I'm at work writing on my phone when I get your responses so I have to be brief because typing on a phone sucks.

I feel your focusing on the wrong thing for this specific case. When it come to VR Zenimax has proven they were wronged. It doesn't matter if they are litigious greedy bastards; this time they're in the right.

Avatar image for iandizion713

Hell yeah, whoop that ass Zenimax.

Avatar image for tachsniper

This should be another win for Zenimax. They set a legal precedent with their win over Oculus... Samsung better sell more phones.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@tachsniper: small correction as you are confused. They set no precedent other than the already established precedent of "stealing is wrong."

Avatar image for darkelf83

@tachsniper: Maybe not. Samsung isn't going to be easy pickings like Facebook. They've got experience in this and are used to throwing it down with companies like Apple.

Avatar image for ValedictorianXD


There's a saying in law: Don't pick fights with bigger bulldogs. As aggressive as Zenimax's legal team is, they don't hold a candle to Samsung's legal defense in terms of aggressiveness or experience. They are going to get torn up for this one lol. Facebook was a wee baby with very little experience comparatively. Samsung was around before a good chunk of people's grandparents were even born and they have starred in this rodeo more than a time or 2 with great results on their end. This should be amusing to watch.

Avatar image for kaminobenimizu

"Disclosure: Leslie Moonves, the CEO of GameSpot parent company CBS Corp., is on the ZeniMax board of directors."

Wait WHAT!?

It wasn't written last time... Umm...! Welp. I guess you guys are forced to write article about this, then?

*Rubs chin* Feels... SUS-PI-CIOUS! Or does it...?

Avatar image for lorddaggeroff

Bad news, no vr is alive, just not under Samsung or occulus.

Long live Google cardboard vr and xiomai mi technology.

"Say what, wha,"

Avatar image for rumadbrah

Zenimax is greedy af

Avatar image for yumyumnomnom

@rumadbrah: I don't see anything wrong with it. They're just trying redeem back what was suppose to be theirs from the get-go. Because of one weasel decided to take something that wasn't rightfully theirs and play it out as if it is theirs to another company, that's just one hot mess brewing. I'm sure this weasel thought he could've gotten away with it but boy was he so wrong.

Avatar image for Barighm

@yumyumnomnom: But what does Samsung have to do with the weasel? Zenimax won. They made their point. Now they're just milking it. They have a history of doing that.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Barighm: if Zenimax's property was used to create Samsung's technology then Samsung is in the wrong. It's really that simple.

You cannot take what is not yours, and you certainly cannot profit off of it.

Avatar image for Kiaininja

@Barighm: But Samsung's VR is powered by Oculus. Zenimax are just claiming that Samsung knew about Oculus lawsuit about using stolen VR tech but still proceeded to make the deal with them anyway. Just seems like maybe Samsung was overconfident that with a giant like Facebook as the owner of Oculus would help them win the case and took the risk of using the tech anyway.

Avatar image for game_cross

This is bad news for the future of VR, period.

Avatar image for wtf_666

@game_cross: VR was dead long before this stuff. There has been 0 must have, amazing NEW VR games on any platform in 2017. None. A bunch of old-a$$ games and tech demos. People don't want to wear a Facemask while gaming. A tiny percentage of people do and cool for them. Enjoy it.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@wtf_666: that's actually not true. That Rick and Morty game is actually pretty good I hear.

Avatar image for Maize84

Can't wait for Zenimax to sue Sony next for having PSVR (which in zenimax logic, means they coined the whole premise of Virtual reality, and sony ripped them off). Then we can finally find out the real reason behind the "mod policy" on sony consoles. Because zenimax loooooooves their NDA, and a public hearing my be the only way the behinds the scene issues will see the light of day.

Zenimax is a scuzzy company run by scuzzy people that sadly makes some really good games. I just do not believe a word that comes out of their mouths. They sued mojang for using the word scrolls, how long before they go after old folks homes for using the word Elder, or any of us for using the word THE

Edit: You should put the disclosure at the top of the article.

Avatar image for namitokiwa

@Maize84: No, it is different since "Samsung worked with Oculus on Gear VR, and the suit claims that Samsung profited from Oculus technology, which it claims should be sourced to ZeniMax". ZeniMax can only sued Sony if Sony worked with Samsung & Oculus to release PSVR. Totally different here.

Avatar image for ValedictorianXD


Not entirely. Zenimax is just trying to establish precedents by going from one link to another. Who is to say they won't find some arbitrary link between Sony and Samsung like they did with Oculus and Samsung which, until now, that link had been relatively unknown. So if they beat Samsung (they wont but we will entertain the thought), the next logical step would be Sony. It's all really greed and a very heavy handed attempt to establish a quasi monopoly on the vr industry.

Avatar image for namitokiwa

@ValedictorianXD: Have you seen the news? Samsung and Oculus worked together so ofcourse Zenimax will sue Samsung is the obvious thing can see in the future.

But Sony and Samsung are viral. Sony and Oculus are both viral as well in term of VR. So you think you can easily do the sue over Sony when Sony already registered copyrights for their own property. So just wait for the future if Zenimax dare to sue Sony or not ;-)

Avatar image for lorikat

Everyone is suing everybody these days. lol

Avatar image for kaminobenimizu

@lorikat: I sue you for writing that.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

HTC & Valve are partying right now. Zenimax is trying to get 1 billion in free funding for that Elder Scrolls 6 I believe lmao.

Avatar image for Maize84

@sticktaler36: they totally are, when has Zenimax ever been sony's friend?

Avatar image for deactivated-598cead82c493

@Maize84: if Carmack ever spoke to anyone at Sony...they'll be next, they seem to hate this legend.

Hands down his work and subsequent influences on other people's work means he's done more for gaming than Zenimax could in 1,000 years, it's a shame they treat him like crap.

Avatar image for namitokiwa

@Maize84: Because Sony didn't work with Samsung or Oculus to development PSVR so why ZeniMax sue Sony for?

Avatar image for ValedictorianXD


Who is to say they didn't? Zenimax is using small links for big paydays. If they can even establish the possibility of these things happening, it is most certain they could come after Sony or Valve. It would not be the first time somebody flew too close to the sun.

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