Oculus VR is facing a lawsuit over alleged intellectual property theft by game publisher ZeniMax Media and its subsidiary id Software.
The lawsuit, filed in a Texas court on Wednesday, alleges that Palmer Luckey and his company have used ZeniMax technology to build development tools for the Oculus Rift. ZeniMax claims to have spent “tens of millions of dollars” researching the virtual reality technology used by Oculus VR.
ZeniMax and id stated that Oculus VR and Luckey unlawfully exploited “intellectual property, including trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology that was developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment.”
Oculus VR fired back stating “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.”
Earlier this month, ZeniMax sent letters to Oculus and Facebook, claiming video game programmer John Carmack, who joined Oculus as chief technology officer in August, to have used the virtual reality technology developed by ZeniMax. The letters were sent just weeks after Facebook announced plans to purchase Oculus VR, for $2 billion in March.
ZeniMax accuses Oculus VR, in addition to intellectual property theft, for “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition,” which adds up to an “enormous value.” ZeniMax’s lawsuit alleged that Oculus and Luckey voided a 2012 nondisclosure agreement that limits the ways in which the company could incorporate Carmack’s work into the Rift.
ZeniMax also said that Oculus hired multiple of its former employees who were aware of confidential and proprietary information about its technologies. The company said that Carmack and those employees used ZeniMax’s “VR testbed” to fine-tune the product.