Oculus VR have responded to the lawsuit being brought by ZeniMax. The legal statement released today states: “The lawsuit is nothing more than ZeniMax seeking to correct for a massive missed opportunity through the assertion of meritless litigation.” The row erupted over claims by ZeniMax that Oculus VR and company founder Palmer Luckey had infringed their copyrights and gained illegal access to trade secrets.
The argument appears to hinge on the involvement of John Carmack. He left id Software last year to take up a prominent position at Oculus VR. However, he had provided assistance to Oculus Rift’s development while stilled employed at the ZeniMax subsidiary leading to the company claiming ownership of code and technical know-how. Carmack responded soon after denying claims that ZeniMax had any right to compensation, saying: “No work I have ever done has been patented. ZeniMax owns the code that I wrote, but they don’t own VR.”
The lawsuit came after Facebook purchased virtual reality firm in March for a fee of $2 billion. The buyout was aimed at helping Oculus VR to keep developing their product while also helping them secure partnerships with more publishers and developers. The timing of the lawsuit led some to speculate that ZeniMax might have waited to initiate court proceedings in the hope of getting more compensation, a claim that Oculus backs up in their legal statement. “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 videogame software publishing company for personal computers and consoles like the Sony PlayStation, invented and developed a virtual reality hardware and software system.”
Since the time of the lawsuit Oculus VR has sought to make it clear that any technology used in the Rift headset was developed by Palmer Luckey and his team. Legal proceedings look set to continue, as Oculus has now demanded a jury trial to settle the matter.