Doom co-creator John Carmack has been accused of stealing intellectual property from Id Software to take to his new employers Oculus Rift.
The claim comes from Zenimax, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks who in turn own Id who allege Carmack stole “key technology” from the developer when he moved to Oculus.
“It was only through the concerted efforts of Mr. Carmack, using technology developed over man years at, and owned by, Zenimax,” lawyers acting on the behalf of Zenimax said in correspondence obtained by The Wall Street Journal, “that Mr. Luckey (Oculus’ founder) was able to transform his garage-based pipe dream into a reality.”
Carmack has spoken on the issue stating over on Twitter that “No work I have ever done has been patented. Zenimax owns the code I wrote but they don’t own VR.”
Oculus in the meantime has denied all accusations by saying “It’s unfortunate,” a statement reads to Engadget, “but when there’s this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims. We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest.”
Zenimax has also claimed Palmer Luckey had “acknowledged in writing ZeniMax’s legal ownership of this technology. It was further agreed that Mr. Luckey would not disclose this technology to third persons without approval.”
In regards to the use of the technology, Zenimax states it “may not be licensed, transferred or sold without ZeniMax Media’s approval.”
Carmack jumped ship from Id to Oculus in November after it was revealed he had been working there part-time since August 2013. Oculus Rift was purchased by Facebook in late March.
Will this stand up in court if it ever reaches that stage? Is John Carmack Doomed? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
George Sinclair is the Chief News Editor for Analog Addiction, the home of the latest news, reviews and previews. You can find George on Twitter but you should be sure to follow the OFFICIAL Analog Addiction Twitter as well!