Today, we get the response by Oculus, and they are quick to shoot down the notion that the company stole technology from ZeniMax. The company released a statement and a list of bullet points refuting ZeniMax.
“We are disappointed but not surprised by ZeniMax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false.”
- 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.”
The response comes on the heels of ZeniMax accusing former employee, and acclaimed game designer, John Carmack of essentially stealing intellectual property for work that would eventually emerge as the Oculus Rift headset. The company held fire as Oculus garnered widespread public support, but was quick on the trigger when the $2 billion Facebook acquisition was announced.
Seems everything was fine until billions entered the equation. Carmack responded to the accusations last week, saying “No work I have ever done has been patented. ZeniMax owns the code that I wrote, but they don’t own VR. Oculus uses zero lines of code that I wrote while under contract to ZeniMax.”
With the amount of money involved, it looks like this one is destined for the courts. The NDA signed by the parties involved will be an interesting wrench thrown into the equation. It is hard to imagine though that Facebook snapped up the company without its legal team being assured no issue would crop up.
We will continue to cover this story as the war of words heats up.