ZeniMax, John Carmack’s former employer, is claiming that Carmack and Oculus VR owe them for technology that was developed while Carmack was still with id Software. Eric Greenbaum, New York lawyer and VR developer, joins me to discuss the possible ramifications of this case.
The last time Eric was on the Rev VR Podcast, we discussed the “Oculu vs. Oculus” case that had everyone in the VR community pretty worked up. Now, ZeniMax is taking up arms to fight for what they claim is their intellectual property.
Eric explains that the specific piece that ZeniMax is upset about are the tweaks Carmack made in the tracking system used in the Oculus Rift. Without these tweaks, the Rift may not have been a viable consumer product. Then again, maybe his tweaks were nothing more than obvious VR adjustments that shouldn’t be patentable. It is entirely possible that ZeniMax may have a valid argument against Carmack and Oculus, especially if a contract was signed. We really don’t have all of the information yet.
Will this case directly impact release dates or future tech enhancements in the Oculus Rift? Probably not. Is this going to cost a bit of money to either settle or fight? Probably. As things progress, we will have Eric back on as a guest and we will discuss things further. Thanks to Eric for being such a wonderful guest.
Eric is the founder of the NYC VR Meetup. If you are in the area, check it out!
Be sure to catch up with Eric Greenbaum on his blog: http://greenbaumpatent.wordpress.com/
And check out Eric’s endeavors into the VR development world: http://jemavr.wordpress.com/.
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