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Zuckerberg Testifies in Virtual Reality Case

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 20, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If virtual reality cameras would have been permitted in the courtroom, Mark Zuckerberg might have appeared to be spinning on the witness stand.

The Facebook CEO testified in a Texas courtroom for the defense against a $2 billion lawsuit filed against Oculus, a company Facebook acquired for $3 billion dollars in 2014. ZeniMax Media alleges that Oculus stole code used in its virtual reality headset, but Zuckerberg said he knew little about the company.

"Like most people in the court I've never even heard of ZeniMax before," he said.

ZeniMax Who?

According to reports, Zuckerberg took the opportunity in court to question the plaintiff's motives.

"It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something that all kinds of people just kind of come out of the woodwork and claim that they just own some portion of the deal," he said.

ZeniMax claims that John Carmack, who was developing a VR headset while he was with ZeniMax, took information from the company when he later joined Oculus and created a working headset. Zuckberg said it didn't happen that way.

"We are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology," Zuckerberg said. "The idea that Oculus products are based on someone else's technology is just wrong."

NDA What?

Zuckerberg said he did not know that Carmack had signed a non-disclosure agreement when he consulted with Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus. Carmack said Zenimax allowed him to meet with other companies at the time.

Last week, Carmack admitted that he copied thousands of emails to his hard drive on his last day at ZeniMax. But he denied taking any code, and claimed instead that he rewrote code from scratch for Oculus.

He said the ZeniMax code could not work in the current Oculus headsets anyway, and he called the lawsuit "ridiculous and absurd."

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