Virtual reality company ZeniMax is suing Samsung on counts for infringement, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition among others. This suit follows a $500 million win in a similar one against Facebook’s Oculus.
The allegations center around current Oculus executive John Carmack, who formerly headed id Software, a ZeniMax entity, and Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey, who signed an agreement to use ZeniMax technology as Oculus was coming to fruition. It is said that Carmack secretly worked with Oculus staff on a solution for “mobile VR”.
As the Oculus Rift began to go commercial last year, ZeniMax took issue with the agreement being breached. But in 2014, Samsung partnered with Oculus to then debut its mobile headset, the Gear VR. Pieces of Rift code (alleged to be ZeniMax’s code) were essentially copied for purposing on the Gear VR.
ZeniMax now claims Samsung should’ve have been aware of the Oculus agreement being breached or at least have reasonably known about it. ZeniMax wants to levy damages and royalties on unit sales of the headsets and may also seek to stop sales.
While the previous case ended with a favorable verdict for the plaintiff, Oculus is appealing. Carmack himself is fighting ZeniMax in court for what he claims is a portion of payment that’s been withheld in the midst of this legal entanglement.