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ZeniMax is suing Samsung after winning its case against Oculus

17 May 2017

It's only a first instance claim at this point, but it does have potential to generate millions in damages, should the court establish that the Korean company benefited from Zeni's VR concepts.

In February, ZeniMax was awarded $500 million by a Texas jury, on the grounds that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey failed to comply with the non-disclosure agreement he signed with ZeniMax (Luckey officially left Oculus in late March). "Later that night, Hooper emailed his contacts at Oculus disclosing that he and Carmack formulated an "attack plan" for the mobile VR work that they would undertake together at Oculus, and which Oculus would subsequently provide to Samsung".

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ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda, Doom developer id Software and Dishonored creator Arkane, is suing Samsung over its Gear VR headset. Although a court may have decided that Oculus' tech was not infringing upon ZeniMax's trade secrets, Samsung still may have indirectly benefitted from the things Oculus did do, which could make Samsung liable. Carmack and Hooper allegedly met in id Software's offices after hours to "talk about Oculus".

The Samsung Gear VR used some of the Oculus Rift code, which was the subject of ZeniMax's earlier lawsuit. According to Zenimax, Oculus purposefully violated this NDA and stole technology to build its future headsets.

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With regards to the lawsuit, ZeniMax is ultimately looking towards just one benefit from this hubbub- capital gains. And given that a ruling is already out there against Oculus, this could spell trouble for Gear VR. Carmack is said to be closely involved with this VR headset project, where he also developed heavy software optimizations for seamless mobile usage.

Samsung stands to realize substantial value as a result of its use of ZeniMax's misappropriated intellectual property and information obtained by Samsung from Oculus, Luckey, and Carmack in violation of the NDA and Carmack's employment agreement. Samsung did not acquire permission from Zenimax to use its copyrights, similar to what Oculus did in the development of the Oculus Rift.

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ZeniMax is suing Samsung after winning its case against Oculus