Zenimax Sues Samsung Over Gear VR After Facebook’s Big Win

Zenimax media is suing hardware giant Samsung over claims it infringed on its property rights with the development of its virtual reality headset Gear VR. The lawsuit comes months after the company was awarded $500 million after successfully suing Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) for infringing on its rights on the development of Oculus Rift.

Zenimax Sues Samsung

Zenimax in its latest lawsuit alleges that Samsung knowingly used its intellectual property obtained from Oculus, in violation of non-disclosure agreements signed with Oculus executive, John Carmack. Prior to his company, id Software, being acquired by Zenimax, Carmack was one of the driving forces behind Gear VR.

Gear VR even though released by Samsung is described as ‘powered by Oculus’ featuring heavy software optimizations that Zenimax alleges infringes on its IP’s. According to the lawsuit, most of the ideas used to develop the headset were developed while Carmack worked at Zenimax.

The basic argument is that Samsung would have been aware of the lawsuit that Facebook was facing in relation to Oculus development prior to it moving forth with Gear VR development.

“Samsung had licensed or otherwise received from Oculus VR technology which it knew, or reasonably should have known, included copyrighted code, trade secrets, and other intellectual property that Oculus had misappropriated from Zenimax,” Zenimax in court filings.

Samsung Defense

Samsung faces an uphill task to win the lawsuit given that Zenimax lawsuit is entirely based on an earlier lawsuit that it won against Facebook. However, the hardware giant could defend itself by the fact that the initial jury ruling did not find Oculus guilty of trade secret misappropriation.

The South Korean company could also take heart from the fact that Zenimax in its latest lawsuit will have to prove that indeed it was an accessory to Oculus previous misconduct.

Should Zenimax win its latest battle against Samsung then it may seek compensation as well as royalties from the sale of Gear VR. The company may also push to prevent the use of Oculus software in the virtual reality headset.

Facebook and Oculus are already fighting back having lodged an appeal on the previous ruling that awarded Zenimax $500 million. Carmack has also sued the company for allegedly withholding some payment after the company acquired his company, id Software.

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