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The Zenimax And Oculus VR Lawsuit Is Moving Ahead

It’s an interesting turn of events in the life of Oculus VR. Earlier this week The New York Times confirmed that the lawsuit accusing Oculus VR of stealing trade secrets and code for the development of the headset would not be thrown out.

So what the heck is going on here, exactly? More after the jump.

The lawsuit was instigated by ZeniMax Media, a game publisher that sued Oculus earlier last year in the aftermath of the Facebook deal. According to ZeniMax, Doom honcho John Carmack – at that point a ZeniMax employee – had provided help to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey during the VR platform’s early days. Carmack would later go on to join Oculus as the company’s chief technolgy officer.

So ZeniMax is contending the help Carmack gave to Luckey was illegal.

The ruling – which occurred late last month by Jorge A. Solis, a judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas – denied a request by defendants Luckey and Oculus to dismiss the lawsuit. It’s worth keeping in mind that this doesn’t suggest a slam-dunk win for ZeniMax. The judge writes in his ruling that ZeniMax merely had to show enough fact to make a plausible claim. In other words, it isn’t the court’s job “at this juncture to decide whether defendants would prevail on the merits of the case.”

Oculus, of course, denies this. Last year, the company issued a statement calling out the lawsuit as having no merit “whatsoever.”

“As we have previously said, ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology,” it reads. “Oculus will defend these claims vigorously.”

A jury trial is scheduled for the 1st of August, 2016.

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Emily Gera

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