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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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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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