The latest wrinkle in the case between ZeniMax Media and Oculus over VR technology finds the plaintiff claiming destruction of evidence.
Having already accused former employee John Carmack of stealing technology designed at id Software for use at Oculus, ZeniMax now claims Facebook-owned Oculus participated in “intentional destruction of evidence to cover up their wrongdoing.” In a statement provided to Ars Technica, ZeniMax said:
With the start of the trial of our case in Federal District Court in Dallas against Defendants Facebook, Oculus and its management, ZeniMax and id Software welcome the opportunity to present substantial evidence of the Defendants’ misappropriation of our Virtual Reality (VR) intellectual property.
That evidence includes the theft of trade secrets and highly confidential information, including computer code. ZeniMax will also present evidence of the Defendants’ intentional destruction of evidence to cover up their wrongdoing. ZeniMax and id Software are the visionary developers of breakthrough VR technology and look forward to the vindication of our claims.
Mark Zuckerberg himself will testify in the multi-billion dollar suit on January 17th, 2017. John Carmack has already done so, exactly one week prior, and Palmer Luckey will follow Zuckerberg in the coming days. Facebook’s lawyers attempted to make a case exempting Zuckerberg from direct testimony about the acquisition of Oculus, but were overruled.
The newest accusations are more than likely aligned with the findings of forensic analyst Andrew S. Rosen in October 2016, when his investigation into the case led him to conclude that “statements and representations that have been sworn to and are before the court are factually inaccurate,” and further, that there were “opinions expressed in expert reports that are before the court that are demonstrably inaccurate.”
Tony Sammi, one of the lawyers representing ZeniMax Media in the suit, went so far as to dub the Oculus acquisition as “one of the biggest technology heists ever” in his opening remarks.
As expected, Facebook continues to vehemently deny the charges, accusing ZeniMax of being what amounts to a very sore loser, after passing up the opportunity to invest in Oculus before it was scooped up by the social media megacorp. In a statement provided to Business Insider by an unspecified Oculus spokesperson, they claimed:
Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate. We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build.
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