Monday, 23 October, 2017

ZeniMax and Oculus legal battle continues with Gear VR claim

ZeniMax is suing Samsung after winning its case against Oculus With a legal win against Oculus, ZeniMax turns to a new target: Samsung's Gear VR
Derrick Tucker | 17 May, 2017, 02:13

ZeniMax, the media company which successfully sued Facebook's Oculus for $500 million (£387 million), has a new target: Samsung. The suit alleges that Samsung knowingly profited from Oculus technology that was first developed at ZeniMax, then misappropriated by Oculus executive John Carmack.

KitGuru Says: This lawsuit came as quite a surprise, though I imagine it will be hard to prove the allegations that Samsung directly knew about Oculus's NDA violations prior to building the Gear VR.

In its suit, which was filed in Dallas federal court last Friday, Zenimax alleges that Oculus CTO John Carmack - co-founder of id Software - brought Oculus employee Matt Hooper into id's office after hours to discuss an "attack plan" for mobile VR they'd developed at Oculus. 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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The company is seeking damages, court costs and "all other relief to which ZeniMax is entitled", as part of compensation. The proceedings are in infantile stages just yet, but the course of action is well-worth following, as the bill for Samsung may spiral into the hundreds of millions and pose serious considerations for the future of Gear VR. It claims that the core technology behind Oculus was developed by Carmack when he was still employed by Zenimax-owned Id. Zenimax said that Carmack failed to disclose Hooper's presence, and that it only learned of the late night visit through reviewing security camera footage. "To establish its VR business for its own commercial gain, Oculus breached the NDA, violated ZeniMax's intellectual property rights, and exploited ZeniMax's VR technology". Before that, Facebook was ordered to pay United States dollars 500 million after losing an intellectual property lawsuit to ZeniMax over its CR headset, the Oculus Rift.

V3 has asked Zenimax for comment. That's. not quite accurate, but it makes sense that ZeniMax would try to widen its net and see what might stick after the potentially ambiguous ending of the previous case. But it's important to note that the jury cleared Oculus and Facebook of misappropriating trade secrets.

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