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Thursday, 22 May 2014 09:49

Zenimax sues Oculus in patent war

Written by Nick Farrell

We had been expecting this one

Zenimax Media and its subsidiary id Software have filed a lawsuit in federal court today against Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and his company over what it claims is unlawful exploitation and infringement of its intellectual property. The news came with the usual grandstanding about how IP forms the foundation of Zenimax’s business.

Zenimax CEO Robert Altman in a press release announcing the suit, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas which the patent troll’s court of preference. Unlike patent trolls, Zenimax does have history with Oculus VR and claims that it has nicked its "trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology."

It is seeking to take Oculus and Luckey to task for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition. Zenimax claims it provided IP to Oculus under a legal agreement that it would be owned exclusively by ZeniMax and could not be "used, disclosed, or transferred to third parties without Zenimax's approval."

It legal notice to Oculus earlier this month alleging that it had some claim to the work John Carmack had contributed to Oculus VR while he was still employed at id Software. Oculus fired back a few days later, essentially claiming that everything ZeniMax had asserted was false.

It said that Zenimax did not contribute to any Oculus technology and the company will defend against these claims.

Nick Farrell

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