Oculus Co-Founder Denies Wrongdoing In ZeniMax Court Case
Oculus’ elusive co-founder Palmer Luckey took the stand today to testify against allegations by Zenimax that the company’s VR headset is stolen intellectual property.
Luckey admitted that he used software developed by ZeniMax to show off his prototype for the Oculus Rift to potential investors but denied using the software’s underlying proprietary source code, violating an NDA he signed with ZeniMax at the time.
“I didn’t take confidential code,” he said, insisting he takes NDA’s “very seriously”.
Luckey is currently facing legal action over alleged breach of contract with another company called Total Recall.
He admitted that he sent former-ZeniMax employee John Carmack a unit. However, in terms of what Carmack actually contributed to the Rift, Luckey was a little more vague.
When it came the Rift’s fisheye distortion system, Luckey says “I guess what he did is ‘a’ solution rather than ‘the’ solution.”
This contrasts sharply with ZeniMax’s claims that Carmack was responsible for the breakthroughs that transformed the Rift from a “primitive” headset into a “powerful immersive virtual reality experience.”
They allege that the Oculus’ story of Palmer creating the Rift in his garage is a fabrication designed to cover up the unethical origins of the headset.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified earlier in the day, saying “we are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology.”
Luckey was widely lauded for his role as the founder of VR startup Oculus and public face of the burgening VR industry.
He made it onto the front cover of Time magazine in 2015 and was ranked 22nd on Forbes’ list of America’s richest entrepreneurs under 40 with an estimated net worth of $730 million in 2016.
However, Luckey disappeared from the spotlight during the second half of last year after his involvement financing a group creating anti-semitic memes about Hilary Clinton ahead of the US Presidential Election was revealed.
The court case is expected to continue to unfold over the next few weeks with former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe next in line to testify.