Oculus contends that all of ZeniMax's claims of code theft are false
You don't have to tune into daytime soap operas to see drama unfold, just sit back and watch Oculus and ZeniMax argue over Rift technology. In short, virtual reality startup Oculus today issued a statement disputing claims made by Maryland-based game maker ZeniMax Media that it owns the intellectual property (IP) rights powering the Oculus Rift VR headset.
Let's back up a moment. Last week The Wall Street Journalreported that ZeniMax Media is laying claim to the above mentioned IP. Based on letters that ZeniMax's team of lawyers sent Oculus and Facebook, ZeniMax is claming that former employee John Carmack improperly shared the company's IP with Oculus, and did so both before and after joining Oculus last August.
That's a hefty allegation, and one that Oculus isn't taking lightly.
"We are disappointed but not surprised by ZeniMax's actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false," Oculus said in a statement sent out to members of the press.
In the statement, Oculus goes on to clarify a few points. Here they are in full, as provided to Maximum PC in an email:
There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products.
John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from Zenimax.
Zenimax has misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non-disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed.
A key reason that John permanently left Zenimax in August of 2013 was that Zenimax prevented John from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company.
Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.
Zenimax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, Zenimax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only after the Facebook deal was announced has Zenimax now made these claims through its lawyers.
Despite the fact that the full source code for the Oculus SDK is available online (developer.oculusvr.com), Zenimax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.
Reading between the lines, it's pretty clear that Oculus says ZeniMax is only coming out of the woodwork because of the lucrative Facebook deal in which the social networking site purchased Oculus for $2 billion last March.