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ZeniMax v Oculus Complaint_As Filed_21-May-2014

ZeniMax v Oculus Complaint_As Filed_21-May-2014

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Published by GamaKris
Zenimax vs. Oculus, May 2014
Zenimax vs. Oculus, May 2014

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Published by: GamaKris on May 21, 2014
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05/26/2014

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1IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXASDALLAS DIVISIONZENIMAX MEDIA INC. andID SOFTWARE LLC,Plaintiffs,v.OCULUS VR, INC. andPALMER LUCKEY,Defendants.§§§§§§§§§§§
CIVIL CASE NO. _____________ JURY TRIAL DEMANDEDCOMPLAINT
Plaintiffs ZeniMax Media Inc. and id Software LLC (collectively, “ZeniMax”) bring thisComplaint against Oculus VR, Inc. and Palmer Luckey (collectively, “Defendants”), and insupport thereof allege as follows, upon personal knowledge as to themselves and uponinformation and belief as to all others:
NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. Under a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement, ZeniMax provided Defendants withaccess to intellectual property developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment.This valuable intellectual property included copyrighted computer code, trade secret information,and technical know-how. The Non-Disclosure Agreement expressly provides that ZeniMax’sintellectual property is confidential, owned exclusively by ZeniMax, and cannot be disclosed toor used by any third parties without ZeniMax’s prior written approval. Defendants havewrongfully taken that ZeniMax intellectual property and commercially exploited it for their owngain. Defendants now stand to realize billions of dollars in value from ZeniMax’s intellectual
Case 3:14-cv-01849-P Document 1 Filed 05/21/14 Page 1 of 46 PageID 1
 
2 property. Defendants never obtained a license for the use of ZeniMax’s property, nor any rightto sell or transfer it to third parties. By this action, ZeniMax seeks damages that will fairly andfully compensate it for Defendants’ infringement and misappropriation of its intellectual property. Without this relief, Defendants will continue to profit unjustly.
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
2. For half a century, computer programmers have written software that allows usersto explore imaginary worlds. Virtually all of that software has been written for presentation oncomputer monitors and television screens. In recent years, however, technological advanceshave led software and entertainment industry observers to suggest that the future of entertainment software and interactive media will include “virtual reality” (“VR”), i.e., thedisplay of imaginary worlds in goggle-like headsets that provide video and audio, therebyimmersing the user entirely in the projected environment. Instead of pressing a key or moving agame controller to explore the virtual environment, users could simply turn their heads to look around, as they do in real life.3. Previous efforts to develop virtual reality have been frustrated by the significanttechnical challenges associated with creating a fully immersive user experience. There arecomplex technical difficulties associated with rendering an imaginary world in a convincing andnaturalistic way without optical distortion, while simultaneously coordinating a user’smovements with the view presented on-screen without introducing a disorienting delay betweenthe user’s action and the corresponding change in display.4. For many years, ZeniMax invested tens of millions of dollars in research anddevelopment, including research into virtual reality and immersive technologies. In 2011 and2012, John Carmack, a singularly experienced and highly proficient ZeniMax programmer who
Case 3:14-cv-01849-P Document 1 Filed 05/21/14 Page 2 of 46 PageID 2
 
3was at that time Technical Director for ZeniMax’s Texas-based subsidiary, id Software,conducted research to address technological issues associated with virtual reality. Carmack andother ZeniMax employees conducted that research at ZeniMax offices, on ZeniMax computers,and using ZeniMax resources.5. In April 2012, Carmack began corresponding with Palmer Luckey, a college-agedvideo game enthusiast living in southern California. Luckey was working on a primitive virtualreality headset that he called the “Rift,” which featured a display with a wide field of view.From his work at ZeniMax, Carmack believed that a wide field of view may be helpful increating an immersive virtual reality experience.6. At that time, the Rift was a crude prototype that lacked a head mount, virtualreality-specific software, integrated motion sensors, and other critical features and capabilitiesneeded to create a viable product. Carmack was given a copy of the prototype by Luckey, andCarmack and other ZeniMax personnel added numerous improvements to the prototype.Together, those ZeniMax employees literally transformed the Rift by adding physical hardwarecomponents and developing specialized software for its operation. In addition, ZeniMaxmodified the Rift headset to work with id Software’s well-known computer game “
 DOOM 3: BFG Edition
which enabled ground-breaking demonstrations of ZeniMax’s virtual realitytechnology. ZeniMax’s efforts represented an enormous technical advance in the developmentof virtual reality entertainment.7. ZeniMax disclosed its proprietary hardware and software enhancements toLuckey pursuant to a Non-Disclosure Agreement that ZeniMax had entered into with Luckey.Subsequently, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (“E3”) industry convention held in LosAngeles in June 2012, Carmack gave demonstrations of ZeniMax’s virtual reality technology.
Case 3:14-cv-01849-P Document 1 Filed 05/21/14 Page 3 of 46 PageID 3

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