In a surprising turn of events, Kickstarter star Oculus VR has just been sued by game developer ZeniMax Media for misappropriation of trade secrets in connection with its Rift headset technology. According to the press release:
The suit arises from the defendants’ unlawful exploitation of intellectual property, including trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology that was developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment. ZeniMax provided this valuable intellectual property to defendants under a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement that specifies such intellectual property is owned exclusively by ZeniMax and cannot be used, disclosed, or transferred to third parties without ZeniMax’s approval. ZeniMax’s intellectual property has provided the fundamental technology driving the Oculus Rift since its inception. Nevertheless, the defendants refused all requests from ZeniMax for reasonable compensation and continue to use ZeniMax’s intellectual property without authorization.
Oculus was acquired by Facebook last month for a whopping price of $2 billion. Time will tell whether this is a legitimate case of NDA breach and trade secrets theft, or if ZeniMax is simply looking to pick a chunk of ice from a $2 billion iceberg.
I will update as I learn more.
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