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Oculus VR Responds to Alleged John Carmack Code Theft

Oculus VR sent out a brief update on Monday, saying that the company is “disappointed but not surprised by ZeniMax’s actions.” The company plans to “prove that all of its claims are false.”

ZeniMax accused Oculus VR CTO John Carmack of stealing company property and using the technology in the upcoming Oculus Rift HMD. The conflict between the two companies dates back to early 2012 when John Carmack was still a programmer at id Software, and Palmer Luckey was working with a research group at the University of Southern California.

In an email sent to Tom’s Hardware, Oculus VR states that its products do not contain any lines of ZeniMax code or any of its technology. The email also states that John Carmack did not take any intellectual property from ZeniMax when he quit in November 2013.

"Oculus uses zero lines of code that I wrote while under contract to Zenimax," Carmack stated on Twitter on May 1.

Monday’s email from Oculus VR states that Zenimax has "misstated the purposes and language of the Zenimax non-disclosure agreement that Palmer Luckey signed." What's more, the Oculus VR email says that one of the key reasons why Carmack id Software was because ZeniMax prevented him from working on VR, and no longer invested resources in VR across the board.

"Zenimax canceled VR support for Doom 3 BFG when Oculus refused Zenimax’s demands for a non-dilutable equity stake in Oculus," the company told Tom’s. "Zenimax did not pursue claims against Oculus for IP or technology, Zenimax has never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus, and only after the Facebook deal was announced has Zenimax now made these claims through its lawyers."

Oculus VR points out that ZeniMax has yet to identify any "stolen" code or technology even though the full source code for the Oculus Rift SDK can be downloaded from here.

So what happens next? We’ll keep you posted, as this may get a little nasty.

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