Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey appeared in court on Wednesday to refute claims that he had broken an NDA regarding proprietary information owned by ZeniMax, the parent company of video game developer id Software.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had virtual reality software developed by ZeniMax Media to show the prototype for his headset to investors in a California hotel room two years ago. This was also shortly after ZeniMax had showcased the device at a Los Angeles video game expo with Luckey’s permission.
Luckey signed a non-disclosure agreement with ZeniMax that barred him from sharing secrets about how the device worked. He says he didn’t violate the agreement because he relied only on “executable code” that didn’t reveal the underlying proprietary source code.
“I didn’t take confidential code,” Luckey said. “I ran it and demonstrated it through the headset. It is not true I took the code.”
During Mark Zuckerberg's testimony, ZeniMax’s lawyers told the court that Oculus recruited one of it star designers and purloined its intellectual prope. Today, they tried to show that Palmer Luckey didn’t have the technical skill to build the Oculus Rift on his own. ZeniMax accused Oculus have fabricating a “completely false” tale that Luckey invented the technology for the Rift while tinkering in his parents’ garage in southern California. In a tense exchange, Phillip Philbin asked Luckey if he had a degree in electrical engineering or any degree at all.
In response, Facebook pointed to Luckey’s long time interest in engineering and electronics. Lawyers for Facebook showed the jury an issue of “Nuts and Volts,” an electronics hobbyist magazine that Luckey had subscribed to as a youth.
The exchanges became heated at times, with one particularly memorable exchange. Luckey repeatedly interjected and argued over the characterization of the NDA, and Phillip Philbin’s omissions while reading out parts of it in court.
ZeniMax is seeking $2 billion in damages and a jury verdict is expected sometime next week.
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