Zenimax won a $500 million court decision earlier this year after a lengthy legal battle with Oculus VR. Now the parent company of many a video game developer has set its sights on Samsung, and it’s taking the Korean firm to court over its part in the deal with Oculus that saw the creation and mass-sale of the Gear VR headset.
The argument Zenimax has made since the start of its legal battle with Oculus and beyond, has been that its own virtual reality developments paved the way for Oculus’ Rift headset. With the courts favoring that argument in the earlier suit, it’s now alleging that the same is true of the Gear VR headset, of which many millions have been sold around the world.
As with the Oculus lawsuit, the new one that targets Samsung is related to id Software founder, John Carmack. Zenimax alleges that he held secret meetings at id Software — which was at that point owned by Zenimax — to devise a strategy for mobile VR. It also alleges that the Gear VR was built on the same technology as the Oculus Rift, which Carmack helped develop while working under the Zenimax banner.
The rift with Oculus has been ongoing for years, which is a point Zenimax raises in its new court action. It alleges that Samsung was aware of Zenimax’s claim to Oculus technology, but continued with the Gear VR’s development anyway, without obtaining permission or rights from Zenimax in the process (via TechCrunch).
The suit accuses Samsung of copyright infringement, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, and trade secret misappropriation.While that is quite a serious list of claims, Zenimax’s position may well be bolstered by the ruling in its favor in the Oculus case and could act as a foundation for certain claims in this one as well.
Of course, though, Samsung is no slouch in the courts and has been fighting giant, multinational corporations there for years. It’s also possible that the original Oculus case will be overturned, as the Facebook-owned company is appealing the decision.
John Carmack is also in a lawsuit of his own against Zenimax, though he brought it to the courts. He alleges that he is still owed more than $20 million as part of a purchase price of id Software, which he sold to Zenimax in 2009.
It seems safe to say that none of these court cases will be resolved anytime soon.
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