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Zenimax sues Samsung over Oculus Gear VR tech

Zenimax sues Samsung over Oculus Gear VR tech

Zenimax has extended its legal efforts against what it claims is intellectual property stolen from Id Software, chasing Oculus VR licensee Samsung for damages over its Gear VR hardware.

Zenimax, parent company of Id Software, has confirmed it is planning to go after anyone using technology it claims virtual reality company Oculus VR misappropriated by filing suit against licensee Samsung over its Oculus-powered Gear VR headset.

When Id Software co-founder John Carmack left the Zenimax-owned company to work for Facebook's Oculus VR, his former paymaster watched closely. In May 2014 it struck, alleging Carmack had taken trade secrets and other IP to Oculus VR, then followed by suing the company. While Zenimax' experts alleged perjury during the trial, the companies claims were only partly upheld by a jury which found evidence of copyright infringement but not of theft of trade secrets in February this year.

On the back of the partial victory, Zenimax appears to be going after anyone using Oculus VR's technology. In a document filed in Texas this month and discovered by Polygon, Zenimax has issued suit against Samsung Electronics over the company's Gear VR headset. Announced back in September 2014, Samsung's Gear VR uses Oculus technology to turn selected models from the company's Galaxy smartphone range into a portable virtual reality headset. It's this technology, Zenimax claims, which is based on copyrighted material developed by Carmack while at Id Software, and the company is asking for damages, royalties, and injunctive relief which could extend to a ban on the sales of Gear VR hardware until a royalty payment scheme is put in place.

Thus far, Samsung has not publicly commented on the case.

5 Comments

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Maki role 16th May 2017, 17:24 Quote
Getting a bit petty isn't it now?

TBH I do wonder about how worth it these things are. If you're not successful the costs are massive, even for a huge company like Zenimax. Going after a player like Samsung seems like a questionable move as they could just drag it out for a long time if they felt they were justified. I may not have much love for either company, but it doesn't really work well for VR at the end of the day.
edzieba 16th May 2017, 20:05 Quote
Given Zenimax was founded by a lawyer who was barred from banking after a [u=http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/04/business/clifford-and-altman-settle-with-fed-over-bcci.html]corruption scandal[/url]; started Zenimax and partnered with Bethesda; and then forced out the founder of Bethesda, it is surprising they still actually make any games. They certainly do like to swing their IP around as widely as absolutely possible (aren't single-word trademarks great?).
Anfield 16th May 2017, 20:28 Quote
The whole tech industry is really just degenerating more and more into one big circle jerk of lawsuits.:(
fix-the-spade 16th May 2017, 22:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki role
Getting a bit petty isn't it now?

I fully expect both Facebook and Samsung to follow the tobacco industry's lead and employ a scorched earth policy towards this lawsuit.

It's a $2.5billion company against a $60billion and $230billion company, they can both afford to just appeal, appeal, appeal until Zenimax gets bored or is forced to drop the suit by escalating costs. Rather like Philip Morris the cost of this one case is immaterial compared to the potential cost of being seen to lose it.
DriftCarl 17th May 2017, 09:46 Quote
Why is it Samsung problem? They licenced from oculus, they didnt steal anything.

If oculus is guilty then it is them that should compensate Zenimax for all the gear VR headsets sold not Samsung.
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