Mark Zuckerburg will appear in court to defend claims that his company had stolen the VR technology that they had acquired after purchasing Oculus is Spring 2014.
ZeniMax Media, which owns the game developers Bethesda and id Software, are suing Facebook for $2bn claiming that their own early innovations in VR technology were copied by Oculus when they were building their own headset, the Rift.
Zuckerburg is expected to argue that ZeniMax was slow to see the full potential to VR and that the work that Oculus have done has made VR the phenomenon that it is today.
The dispute is based on the fact that John Carmack, legendary game designer and co-founder of id Software, was briefly working for both id Software and Oculus, until, eventually, he left id Software completely in 2013.
Because of this, ZeniMax is claiming that Carmack shared intellectual property with Oculus Rift that he shouldn’t have. ZeniMax has written in their court papers that “Carmack secretly and illegally copied thousands of documents containing ZeniMax’s intellectual property from his computer at ZeniMax to a USB storage device which he wrongfully took with him to Oculus”.
Palmer Luckey, the co-founder of Oculus who started his Kickstarter campaign for a VR headset back in 2012, is also expected to be making an appearance in court. ZeniMax Media have called Luckey’s technical knowledge into question, claiming that he did not have the knowledge to create a functioning VR headset.
A spokesperson for Oculus has stated that “Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate.
“We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build”.
The court case is due to begin in Dallas today and is expected to last most of the day.