ZeniMax, id Software's parent company, accuses John Carmack of stealing intellectual property for Oculus. After co-founding id Software and serving as its tech guru for over 22 years, Carmack left id Software a half year ago to dedicate himself to his new passion at Oculus. On Twitter, Carmack responded that no work he's ever done has been patended. He acknowledges that ZeniMax owns the code he wrote but notes that they don't own VR.
The Journal says ZeniMax, id Software's parent company, has alleged in two separate letters that Carmack "improperly took ZeniMax's intellectual property with him to Oculus." ZeniMax credits the misappropriated intellectual property for "[propelling] Oculus from a shoestring startup to technology's big leagues in less than two years." Word is that ZeniMax is seeking financial compensation.
The letters come on the heels of Oculus VR's acquisition by Facebook, a deal valued at $2 billion. The dispute itself, however, seems to date back to 2012, when Carmack collaborated with Oculus VR co-founder Palmer Luckey on his first virtual-reality headset prototype. "People familiar with the discussions" claim ZeniMax sought financial compensation as early as August 2012. ZeniMax was reportedly offered a "small equity stake" in the startup, but in the end, no deal was made.