American media and entertainment company ZeniMax filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics, accusing the South Korean tech giant of consciously profiting from the virtual reality (VR) technology made by ZeniMax and misappropriated by Oculus, consequently infringing on a variety of intellectual properties held by the Rockville, Maryland-based firm. The case was filed on Monday with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, and ZeniMax is basing it on its recent legal win that saw the company being awarded $500 million in damages after successfully proving that Oculus infringed on its copyrights, broke a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed by its founder Palmer Luckey and a former employee of ZeniMax, and was guilty of false designation of origin.
Legal representatives of ZeniMax claim that Samsung was fully aware of the company's dispute with Oculus regarding the supposedly misappropriated technology licensed from Facebook's VR subsidiary for its Gear VR headset, adding that the South Korean consumer electronics manufacturer is seemingly unphased by recent developments and has even released a revised version of the head-mounted display earlier this year. ZeniMax's remarks refer to the Gear VR (2017) that Samsung introduced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in early March before launching it alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. The newly released version of the company's mobile-based VR headset still bears Oculus's branding, with ZeniMax claiming that Samsung must be aware of related legal issues due to the fact that its case against Oculus and Facebook was an extremely public one, yet the company continues to profit from the technology in question.
The case may not be as simple as ZeniMax is presenting it seeing how the Gear VR series only uses Oculus-made software and doesn't rely on any of the Facebook-owned company's hardware solutions which were an important part of the case against Oculus that the Maryland-based firm won earlier this year. During the court proceedings, ZeniMax claimed that its former employee John Carmack — now Chief Technology Officer at Oculus — went as far as to steal trade secrets pertaining to VR motion sensors and similar hardware solutions that the Rift is using. While software-related IPs were also part of ZeniMax's accusations that weren't proven in their entirety, it's still unclear whether that will be enough for a case against Samsung.