Did Oculus swipe blueprints from rival? Zuck takes the stand

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg grilled over the now-$3bn VR acquisition

Oculus Rift package

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg shed new light on the social network's 2014 acquisition of Oculus VR Tuesday in a Dallas federal court.

Zuck took the stand as part of a trial between Oculus and ZeniMax, the rival games developer that has accused Oculus of stealing the virtual reality technology that it uses at the heart of its Rift headset.

ZeniMax claims that when Oculus hired away legendary games designer John Carmack in 2013, it also made off with code and intellectual property that belonged to ZeniMax. In 2014, they filed suit in civil court seeking damages [PDF] of $2bn.

Zuckerberg became entangled in the battle when, in 2014, his social network scooped up Oculus in a $2bn deal that was actually closer to $3bn after expenses.

According to reports out of the courtroom, a suit-clad Zuck estimated that employee bonuses and retention deals following the acquisition tacked an additional $1bn onto the final cost.

When pressed about the legitimacy of Oculus' claim to the Rift's design and code, Zuckerberg stuck up for the acquisition.

"We are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology," Zuck was quoted as saying. "The idea that Oculus products are based on someone else's technology is just wrong."

Further, Zuckerberg alleges that ZeniMax (who he claims he had never heard of) only emerged to file its case against Oculus after word spread that it now had access to Facebook's sizeable bankroll.

"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," Zuckerberg claimed.

The Facebook founder is, of course, no stranger to ownership disputes. He famously engaged in a years-long legal battle with his former Harvard classmates over the rights to Facebook. ®


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