Hawaiian-based company Total Recall Technologies is suing Oculus VR and its founder Palmer Luckey, suggesting that Oculus VR used technology learned from Total Recall Technologies in 2011 so Luckey could build his own virtual reality headset.
Total Recall Technologies (TRT) says it signed Luckey in 2011 to build a prototype of a virtual reality headset. According to the lawsuit, Luckey signed a confidentiality agreement.
"At all relevant times, the information provided to Luckey by TRT was confidential, and TRT expected the information to remain confidential," said the complaint filed by TRT.
Over the duration of 2011, Luckey was reportedly given specifications for a headset that TRT wanted him to create —with the non-disclosure agreement being signed on August 1, 2011, and the complete prototype shipping to TRT on August 23, 2011. Throughout 2011 and 2012, Luckey was allegedly given confidential feedback on his headset in order to improve the design of the device.
Total Recall Technologies is seeking damages, though an exact amount has not been disclosed to the public. TRT has enlisted the help of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which counts the likes of Google and Samsung among its clients.
The Kickstarter for Oculus Rift was started by Luckey in 2012 and found support from thousands of backers. Since then, the company has created three prototypes for the Oculus Rift headset, and has shipper developer editions for those interested in developing software ahead of the headset's consumer release in 2016. The Oculus VR itself was bought by Facebook in 2014 for a whopping $2 billion.
Oculus VR has seen its fair share of legal trouble in the past as well. Last year, ZeniMax Media sued Oculus VR and Facebook, suggesting that the Oculus Rift headset ripped off ZeniMax code and technology. The dispute is ongoing, and Oculus VR slammed the company last summer, suggesting its rival is attempting to make money from its enormous sale to Facebook.
Oculus VR is largely considered the leader in virtual reality, at least when it comes to gaming. When Facebook purchased the company, it said that virtual reality would change the way that people interact with the Internet. It however remains to be seen exactly how Facebook intends to incorporate the virtual reality acquisition into its company. Facebook is not the only company tackling virtual and augmented reality, with Google and Sony also dipping their toes into the market.