Oculus Rift release date, price and system requirements: Oculus overtakes HTC in key market

17/01/2017: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will testify in court as part of a trial alleging that Oculus was built on technology stolen from Bethesda's parent company, ZeniMax.

The lawsuit was initially filed in May 2014, following Facebook's acquisition of Oculus for $2 billion. While it originally named Oculus and its founder, Palmer Luckey, as defendants, an amended version was filed last year that also includes Facebook as a defendant, along with Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and CTO John Carmack.

The trial, which commenced on 9 January, revolves around claims by ZeniMax Media that the Oculus Rift virtual reality device was developed with ZeniMax IP by games industry legend and former id Software employee John Carmack, during his time employed by ZeniMax.

ZeniMax states that while Luckey developed the first Rift prototype in 2012, input from Carmack and other Zenimax personnel "literally transformed" it by adding specialised software and hardware improvements

Both Luckey and Carmack violated non-disclosure agreements expressly preventing them from using ZeniMax's VR tech without its permission, the suit also argues.

Facebook's involvement stems from ZeniMax's claims that the company "knew or had reason to know" that Oculus was not the legal owner of the full rights to the VR technology used in its headset.

"Defendants have now been unjustly enriched by billions of dollars in value exploiting ZeniMax's hard work and VR Technology as if it were their own," the lawsuit reads.

Carmack, Facebook and Oculus have all maintained their innocence, with Oculus stating that the suit has "no merit whatsoever" and that "ZeniMax did not contribute to any Oculus technology".

If successful, the lawsuit could see Facebook liable for up to $2 billion in damages - the same amount it paid to acquire Luckey's company.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.