ZeniMax's Claims Against Oculus VR Unfounded

After ZeniMax–the creator of Fallout and Elder Scrools–claimed that Oculus VR had taken code illegally for use in its products, the virtual reality headset maker has responded. According to Oculus, it is “disappointed but not surprised” by ZeniMax’s actions in making the claim, and in order to combat those statements, it will prove that all of the points are false.

ZeniMax's Claims Against Oculus VR UnfoundedA list of counter-points were provided by Oculus, including:

  • There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products.
  • ZeniMax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, ZeniMax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only after the Facebook deal was announced has ZeniMax now made these claims through its lawyers.
  • Despite the fact that the full source code for the Oculus SDK is available online (developer.oculusvr.com), ZeniMax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.”

Although there is a lot that must be done to get to the bottom of the IP theft claims, Oculus makes a good point. If ZeniMax code were actually in the Oculus SDK, wouldn’t it make a statement pointing to the code?

ZeniMax’s Lack Of Proof

In its original claim, the company said that Oculus VR game designer John Carmack had taken IP from the company after working there. Shortly after those claims went up, Carmack responded by saying, “No work I have ever done has been patented. ZeniMax owns the code that I wrote, but they don’t own VR. Oculus uses zero lines of code that I wrote while under contract to ZeniMax.”

This is not the first time that a dispute like this has come up and it won’t be the last. It is quite possible that Carmack contributed some of his ideas to a project at ZeniMax and then applied similar ideas to Oculus. However, that would not be illegal and ZeniMax has yet to provide any proof of actual intellectual property theft.

Summary: Oculus VR has responded to ZeniMax’s claims that intellectual property was stolen from it. Allegedly, Oculus designer John Carmack stole code from ZeniMax. In its response, Oculus says that the claims are completely false.

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