Zenimax Now Chasing Samsung's Gear VR After Winning Lawsuit Against Facebook-Owned Oculus


Zenimax, fresh off its victory in a lawsuit against Facebook-owned Oculus, has now set its sights on Samsung and its Gear VR headset.

In the new lawsuit, Zenimax claims that Samsung knowingly profited from the technology of Oculus that was originally developed in Zenimax and then misappropriated by current Oculus CTO John Carmack.

Zenimax Lawsuit Against Oculus

Earlier this year, Zenimax was awarded $500 million by the jury in its lawsuit against Oculus. Zenimax alleged that Oculus stole technology in the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset's development.

Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey was said to have breached a non-disclosure agreement and that Oculus was also guilty for false designation and copyright infringement relating to the Oculus Rift. Computer code found within the Oculus Rift was said to have infringed on Zenimax copyrights.

Oculus, however, was not found guilty on allegations that it stole trade secrets from Zenimax for the development of the Oculus Rift. Facebook was not found as a directly liable party, but it will likely be paying a considerable amount as it owns Oculus.

The awarded amount of $500 million was actually much lower compared to Zenimax's initial target of $6 billion. Zenimax, which is looking to either stop the sale of the Oculus Rift or to receive an ongoing royalty for the device, is now targeting another company who benefitted from Oculus technology.

Zenimax Lawsuit Against Samsung

In the lawsuit filed by Zenimax against Samsung, it claims that Samsung knew about its lawsuit against Oculus, which it filed during the initial development phase of the Gear VR.

Samsung, however, continued with the development of the Gear VR, which is even officially described as "powered by Oculus," despite Zenimax's allegations that Oculus was using allegedly stolen technology. Samsung did not acquire permission from Zenimax to use its copyrights, similar to what Oculus did in the development of the Oculus Rift.

The lawsuit accuses Samsung of copyright infringement, as the Gear VR uses Zenimax VR code. Other allegations include unfair competition, trade secret misappropriation, and unjust enrichment. It will be supported in court by the outcome of Zenimax's lawsuit against Oculus, as the Gear VR is based on the Oculus Rift.

Zenimax is seeking damages, a share in the profit from sales of devices that used stolen technology, injunctive relief, and royalties.

Carmack Lawsuit Against Zenimax

Carmack, meanwhile, filed an independent lawsuit against Zenimax in March. He claims that Zenimax has not yet paid the remaining amount owed to him from the sale of his game studio, id Software, in 2009. He was a cofounder of id Software and worked at Zenimax after it was purchased until his contact expired. He then took the position of Oculus CTO in August 2013.

Carmack claims that after Zenimax initially agreed to purchase id Software for $150 million, it still owes $45.1 million. Half of the amount has been converted into common stock at Zenimax, but the other half is still unpaid.

The lawsuit against Zenimax continues the long-winding legal battle between Oculus and Zenimax, and with Samsung now joining the fray, there seems to be no end in sight.

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