It's official: Zenimax is suing Oculus VR. Earlier in the month lawyers for the company sent letters to Oculus laying claim to the software technology that powers the virtual reality headset made by Oculus. Today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Zenimax Media and its subsidiary id Software filed a lawsuit against Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and his company over what it calls "unlawful exploitation and infringement of its intellectual property." The intellectual property in question is the software technology powering the device, developed by former id Software programmer and founder John Carmack.
"Intellectual property forms the foundation of our business," stated Zenimax CEO Robert Altman in a press release announcing the lawsuit. "We cannot ignore the unlawful exploitation of intellectual property that we develop and own, nor will we allow misappropriation and infringement to go unaddressed."
Zenimax says that it filed the lawsuit over what it perceives to be the defendants' illegal exploitation of intellectual property, including "trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology" that was developed by Zenimax – or by John Carmack while he was an employee of id Software. Zenimax is also suing Oculus and Luckey for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unfair competition.
Zenimax claims that it provided IP to Oculus under a legal agreement signed by Luckey agreeing that it would be owned exclusively by Zenimax and could not be "used, disclosed, or transferred to third parties without ZeniMax’s approval."
Zenimax sent legal notice to Oculus earlier this month alleging that it had some claim to the work John Carmack had contributed to Oculus VR while he was still employed at id Software, but Oculus and Carmack said days later that Zenimax's assertions were false.
You can check out the lawsuit here.
UPDATE: Via Kotaku, Oculus has issued a response.
"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."