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Oculus responds to ZeniMax intellectual property claims

7:12 AM on 05.05.2014 // Dale North

'We are disapointed but not surprised by ZeniMax's actions'

For those just tuning in, ZeniMax Media sent a formal notice of rights to Oculus VR and new parent company Facebook over intellectual property claims. Long story short, ZeniMax feels that work that happened with them carried over with John Carmack when he moved to Oculus Rift. Carmack responded later that "ZeniMax owns the code that I wrote, but they don't own VR."

Now Oculus has chimed in with their official (and only) response this morning. It is exactly as follows.

We are disappointed but not surprised by Zenimax’s actions and we will prove that all of its claims are false. In the meantime, we would like to clarify a few key points: 

  • There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products. 
  • John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from Zenimax.
  • Zenimax has misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non-disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed. 
  • A key reason that John permanently left Zenimax in August of 2013 was that Zenimax prevented John from working on VR, and stopped investing in VR games across the company.
  • Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus.  
  • 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 (, Zenimax has never identified any ‘stolen’ code or technology.


Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
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