Facebook’s Zuckerberg Appears In Court in ZeniMax Case

For those of you that don’t know, Mark Zuckerberg, the guy they made Jessie Eisenberg play as, and founder and CEO of Facebook, was in court yesterday, Jan. 17th, to defend his social media company, and its subsidiary Oculus, against claims they stole virtual reality technology. Yes, Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion back in 2014 and now they are being sued for stealing the VR concept. So who is suing them?

The accusations come from none other than ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Skyrim publisher Bethesda. Oddly enough, ZeniMax is suing Oculus and Facebook for $2 billion.

According to the BBC, Zuckerberg argues that “ZeniMax was slow to appreciate the potential of VR–and that it was Oculus’ own work that made it the valuable technology it is today.”

An Oculus spokesperson told the BBC,

“We’re eager to present our case in court.”

“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.”

So where does ZeniMax hold on their claim to sue? Well, a former employee of ZeniMax’s, John Carmack, worked for them back in 2009, when the bought Id Software for $405 million. A few years later, in November 2013, he resigned to join Oculus full-time.

ZeniMax alleges that Carmack (stated the lawsuit, via Game Informer), stole a whole bunch of tech info saying,

“Copied thousands of documents from a computer at ZeniMax to a USB storage device.”

“He never returned those files or all copies of them after his employment with ZeniMax was terminated. One of the biggest technology heists ever.”

“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.”

Today, in a Dallas, Texas court, The New York Times attended, and reporting that Zuckerberg blasted the ZeniMax lawsuit and its claims. He told the court,

“We are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology. The idea that Oculus products are based on someone else’s technology is just wrong.”

“It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something that all kinds of people just kind of come out of the woodwork and claim that they just own some portion of the deal. Like most people in the court, I’ve never even heard of ZeniMax before.”

Just some of the news coming out of today’s proceedings were tweeted out  by NYT reporter Mike Isaac. Clearly Zuckerberg was being his usual self and giving up no ground. Take a look below for Isaac’s account.

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Johnny and his beard will be at PAX South this year. Come say HI if you will be there. Otherwise check out his ramblings on Twitter at @SomeBeardy2Love