On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear in a Dallas court. The reason for this are the allegations that his company is facing regarding stolen virtual reality technology. The company which is suing Facebook for $2 billion is called Zenimax Media, owner of game studio id Software.
Facebook in trouble
According to Zenimax, Facebook’s Oculus copied their early virtual reality technologies and put it in their headset called Rift. Facebook bought Oculus in 2014 and since then, it has become one of the most important additions of the social media giant. Especially in the long run, because Facebook counts on Oculus to be the top player in the virtual reality industry in the next 10 years. According to some reports, Zuckerberg is going to defend his company by saying that Zenimax failed to use the technology at its full potential. Oculus only took it, developed it even further and explored it. Thanks to them, the virtual reality technology has become so popular nowadays.
Zenimax Media filled this lawsuit in 2014 against both Oculus and its co-founder, Palmer Luckey. Later, the lawyers of Zenimax extended the lawsuit to Facebook too, because they considered it necessary. Last week, an Oculus spokesperson said in an official statement that the company invested a lot of money and time to develop this technology. According to them, it is disappointing that another company wants to take credit for something they merely started, without further developing it or using it to its full potential. Long story short, a company which had no idea what to do with the virtual reality technology it had.
This lawsuit also includes Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and John Carmack. The latter left Zenimax back in 2013 in order to become chief technology officer at Oculus. Carmack is also the co-founder of id Software, which is famous for their video games like Doom and Quake. In an interview from 2014, Cormack stated that he decided to leave id Software because he knew that he could not do anything related to virtual reality there. Now, Zenimax claims that Carmack actually gave Oculus intellectual property while he was still working for id Software. Only after that, he decided to leave. Court papers are saying that he copied thousands of documents with Zenimax property to a USB storage and took it with him at Oculus.
One of the lawyers for Zenimax actually deemed this as “one of the biggest technology heists ever”. Carmack’s lawyers claim that what he took with him was his intellectual property and his own ideas and projects with which he participated at Oculus. Not at all Zenimax’s intellectual property. Palmer Luckey also needs to attend the trial this week. Nobody has seen Luckey since the discovery that he funded an online trolling campaign which supported president-elect Donald Trump.
All in all, we will see where this situation is going and who is right in all this scandal. Facebook’s Oculus because it used the virtual reality technology? Or maybe Zenimax, that claims that they were the first to develop it.
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