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ZeniMax extends legal pursuit to Samsung Gear VR

Former id Software employees John Carmack and Matt Hooper involved in fresh VR lawsuit

ZeniMax Media has continued its legal pursuit of the VR technology developed by former id Software boss John Carmack, filing a lawsuit against Samsung over its Gear VR mobile headset.

A lawsuit filed at a Texas court last week alleged that Oculus VR CTO John Carmack conceived of the idea that led to Samsung Gear VR while working at id Software's offices in July 2013. He was joined by Matt Hooper, who had recently been fired from his position as the studio's creative director, and who Carmack had allowed into the office without permission outside of normal office hours.

The suit refers to an email sent by Hooper to his contacts, which refers to an "attack plan" he and Carmack had formulated for mobile VR. This, ZeniMax contends, is the origin of Samsung Gear VR; the following month, Hooper started at Oculus VR as its director of development.

The lawsuit claims that the Samsung Gear VR headset is built on technology that ZeniMax owns, infringing on its IP rights. ZeniMax is seeking punitive damages, a cut of profits earned from the sale of the Gear VR, injunctive relief, and costs.

ZeniMax has, of course, already been awarded $500 million in a court case against Oculus VR, though that was for breaking an NDA and false designation rather than the misappropriation of trade secrets.

Samsung's Gear VR - which is marketed as being "powered by Oculus - has already been involved in a legal action from ZeniMax. In February this year, ZeniMax sought an injunction against VR software that used contested lines of code, which would apply to software for both the Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

The full lawsuit has been posted by Polygon.

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Texas judge calls for an end to Oculus and ZeniMax's "big, hairy fight"

Injunction hearing started this week, with Zenimax asking for $500 million additional damages and a 20% cut of Oculus' revenue

By Matthew Handrahan

Latest comments (1)

Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZA month ago
I recently listened to "Masters of Doom", the story of iD software. Fantastic!

It regularly mentions how influenced Carmack was by the book by Steven Levy, "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution", which applauds an ethic of sharing breakthroughs, pushing technology and software forwards together, right from the early days of MIT students making "Spacewar" and hosts of other software.

I am heartily inspired by these ideologies, and yet, I can appreciate both sides of the coin.
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