Video game giant sues virtual reality maker Oculus

2014-05-22 09:39
This publicity image provided by Oculus VR shows a virtual reality headset. (Oculus VR, AP)

This publicity image provided by Oculus VR shows a virtual reality headset. (Oculus VR, AP)

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San Francisco - US video game giant ZeniMax Media on Wednesday said it is suing virtual reality headgear star Oculus VR, recently bought by Facebook.

ZeniMax, whose empire includes Bethesda Softworks and id Software, filed suit in federal court in Texas accusing Oculus of misappropriating trade secrets relating to virtual reality and infringing on copyrights.

"Intellectual property forms the foundation of our business," ZeniMax chief executive Robert Altman said in a release.

"We cannot ignore the unlawful exploitation of intellectual property that we develop and own, nor will we allow misappropriation and infringement to go unaddressed."

The lawsuit charges exploitation of intellectual property, computer code, and "technical know-how" relating to virtual reality technology that was developed by ZeniMax and shared under terms of a non-disclosure agreement.

Efforts to resolve the dispute have failed, according to ZeniMax.

The company cited a public statement by Oculus maintaining that "ZeniMax has never contributed IP or technology to Oculus".

Facebook in March announced a $2bn deal to buy Oculus, a start-up behind virtual reality headgear that promises to let people truly dive into their friends' lives.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said that the acquisition of Oculus was a long-term bet that making the social network's offerings more immersive would pay off.

Zuckerberg billed the acquisition as part of a drive to build the "next major computing platform that will come after mobile".

Facebook called Oculus, launched in 2012, the leader in immersive virtual reality technology with a strong following among developers.

The company has already garnered more than 75 000 orders for the $350 Oculus Rift headset development kits.

Facebook said Oculus will maintain its headquarters in Irvine, California, and continue developing the Rift platform.

Neither Oculus nor Facebook replied to a request for comment on the case.

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