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Publisher claims that virtual reality firm stole technology

Oculus VR sued by Elder Scrolls owner ZeniMax

Oculus VR, the firm behind the Rift virtual reality headset, is being sued.

ZeniMax, the publisher of games including the Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein series, as well as its id Software developer arm, have filed a lawsuit against the firm, claiming that it stole intellectual property in order to develop the Oculus Rift headset.

The claims stem from the movement of former id Software employee John Carmack to Oculus last year, with ZeniMax stating that Carmack took with him code and properties belonging to ZeniMax – which were then used to further the headset’s development.

"Carmack and other Zenimax employees conducted [virtual reality] research at Zenimax offices, on Zenimax computers, and using Zenimax resources,” said ZeniMax in a statement.

The firm added its belief that without its input, the Oculus Rift would not have seen its current success.

"Oculus and Luckey lacked the necessary expertise and technical know-how to create a viable virtual reality headset,” it explained.

ZeniMax has accused Oculus of “misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement, breach of contract, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, trademark infringement and false designation”.

The company is seeking “unspecified actual damages, restitution, disgorgement, unjust enrichment, equitable relief, punitive and exemplary damage, statutory damages and enhanced damages”.

ZeniMax’s requests for “reasonable compensation” have been rejected multiple times by Oculus.

Oculus responded to the accusations by stating: "The lawsuit filed by ZeniMax has no merit whatsoever. As we have previously said, ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology.

"Oculus will defend these claims vigorously."

Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion earlier this year.

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