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Facebook Battles $2 Billion Intellectual Property Lawsuit
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Summary: Facebook and Oculus VR battle a $2 billion trade secrets lawsuit brought on by developer, ZeniMax.

Mark Zuckerberg traveled to Dallas this week, but his trip was anything but pleasure. The founder of Facebook testified in a Northern District of Texas Federal courtroom today because Facebook and its virtual reality company, Oculus VR, are being sued for $2 billion.


A reportedly testy Zuckerberg got snappy when the plaintiff’s lawyer questioned him about why Facebook purchased Oculus without allegedly pursuing due diligence. He was questioned in court in regards to a lawsuit brought by ZeniMax Media, the owner of Bethesda Softworks and id Software. The video game developers sued Oculus for $2 billion, and Facebook was named in the lawsuit because it purchased Oculus in 2014. This week, Zuckerberg, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, and former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe will testify in court.

According to GizModo, ZeniMax Media claimed that Oculus stole their trade secrets when ZeniMax employee John Carmack left the company and joined Oculus as its chief technical officer. When questioned by ZeniMax’s legal team last week, Carmack admitted that he had made copies of ZeniMax’s intellectual property but he denied stealing entire source code, just snippets.

“I copied files that I shouldn’t have. I think stealing is an uncharitable way to look at it since I didn’t benefit and ZeniMax didn’t lose, but I shouldn’t have done it, and I did,” Carmack said.

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Zenimax also said that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey signed a non-disclosure agreement with Zenimax in 2014 and has since violated the agreement.

Toni Sammi, an attorney for ZeniMax, said that Oculus’ thievery was “one of the biggest technology heists ever.” ZeniMax said that Oculus not only stole its trade secrets but used Carmack to determine what employees to poach.

Facebook has responded that ZeniMax’s claims are not true. The company said that Zenimax is bitter because it had turned down a potential partnership and investment opportunity and now they want a piece of what could have been theirs.

“This case, because ZeniMax and the owners of ZeniMax feel badly, embarrassed, humiliated, that they didn’t do the deal, that they didn’t invest in this VR technology when they could have, they want to rewrite history,“ Facebook’s attorney Beth Wilkinson said during this week’s opening argument.

The case was filed in 2014, immediately after Mark Zuckerberg publicly declared his plans to buy Oculus. At the time, ZeniMax only named Oculus as a defendant and warned Facebook that they would be named if they were to acquire the revolutionary virtual reality company. ZeniMax stated that Zuckerberg ignored the warning and quickly pushed through the deal.

Source: Gizmodo

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Do you think ZeniMax has a case? Let us know in the comments below.



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