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Post by Dan @ 11:03am 06/05/14 | 8 Comments
Oculus has issued a formal public response to the recent legal notice filed by Zenimax that stated the virtual reality start-up owed it compensation for intellectual property it alleged was contributed by programming luminary John Carmack while he was a Zenimax employee at id Software.

Oculus' statement tells its side of the story:
OCULUS RESPONSE

We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false. In the meantime, we would like to clarify a few key points:
  • 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.
As a heavy promoter of the Oculus Rift headset during its early days, John Carmack undoubtedly contributed to the start-up's success and net worth (which Facebook recent purchased for $2billion) while he was still working for Zenimax. But whether any of those efforts amount to Zenimax intellectual property will be up to the US legal system to decide.












Latest Comments
Hogfather
Posted 11:07am 06/5/14
Interesting how everyone wants a piece.

Seems like a number of players really believe VR will be the NBT?
PornoPete
Posted 11:16am 06/5/14
It's hard to imagine that someone like Carmack could get caught by something like this, but perhaps the wording of his contract meant that his work on Zenimax's time means that whatever he produced was theirs regardless.

But pretty unsurprising you'd chase a honey pot that big. I wonder how big their undilutable equity stake was going to be.
Viper119
Posted 05:04pm 06/5/14
The response seems a tad on the emotional side to me, a few of the points seem un-necessary legal-wise, sounds like there's some history at play behind this.
koopz
Posted 09:21pm 06/5/14
meh..


if work want to have it they'll unwittingly make us have have clone pcs hardware and tell us they are the same thing


trog
Posted 12:41am 07/5/14
The response seems a tad on the emotional side to me, a few of the points seem un-necessary legal-wise, sounds like there's some history at play behind this.
I'm pretty sure they would have had their lawyers at least glance over this and make sure it was OK considering the billions of dollars that are at stake here
Viper119
Posted 05:53am 07/5/14
No doubt good sir, but there's unnecessary narrative exposition there. Nothing untoward with any of that of course, my point isn't that it's ill advised legally, just that it hints at the history and behind the scenes events. I imagine there's been a lot of private back and forth.
trog
Posted 10:24am 07/5/14
No doubt good sir, but there's unnecessary narrative exposition there. Nothing untoward with any of that of course, my point isn't that it's ill advised legally, just that it hints at the history and behind the scenes events. I imagine there's been a lot of private back and forth.
this is like, the shortest press release I've ever seen. I am surprised that you think there's any narrative at all. It's like a dry collection of facts that no doubt have been ruthlessly vetted by multiple lawyers to ensure there's no possibility of misinterpretation.
Viper119
Posted 07:34pm 07/5/14
I'm no expert, I'm just going off my experience, I've been involved in a lot of contract law in service to service businesses over the past 5 years. Their statement has emotional tinges to me, 'We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions', to cite one, which to me infers a much larger history behind this sudden foray into the public eye. In the cases I've seen, the most emotionally devoid and rational cases usually win. I wouldn't be surprised if there's contract period overlap between Carmack's time at both and Zenimax have some somewhat legit reasons to claim.
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