id owners Zenimax have sent a thick, portentous document to Oculus, we learned yesterday. Within lies a claim that VR-related intellectual property belonging to the publisher left with John Carmack when the programmer quit id to work on the Rift full-time.
But Carmack doesn’t see it that way. While his expertise is clearly paying dividends at the VR company, he says “zero lines of code” made the transition from Zenimax to Oculus.
Oculus uses zero lines of code that I wrote while under contract to Zenimax.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) May 1, 2014
“No work I have ever done has been patented,” tweeted the former id director of technology yesterday. “Zenimax owns the code that I wrote, but they don't own VR.”
Three hours later, however, the now-Oculus CTO was back to complaining about GLSL compiler bugs and making cracks about mistyped LOCAL_CFLAGS, just as he was before the news broke.
Zenimax argued in their claim that only Carmack’s work with their tech allowed Palmer Luckey to “transform his garage-based pipe dream into a working reality”.
The id owners say that they provided assistance and tech to Oculus, Luckey and his employees through 2013 and 2014. Moreover, they claim that Luckey “acknowledged in writing” Zenimax’s legal ownership of the intellectual property in question - long before Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus was announced.
For their part, Oculus have labelled the claims a “ridiculous and absurd” side effect of the Facebook deal.
“We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent,” the VR company told Engadget.