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Mark Zuckerberg Will Testify in ZeniMax/Oculus Lawsuit

Oculus VR’s road to becoming one of the leaders in the virtual reality (VR) sector hasn’t always been so smooth. Last year, for example, Bethesda Softworks owner ZeniMax Media revealed that it would be suing the company over a dispute involving John Carmack, the Oculus VR CTO that previously worked at ZeniMax Media-owned id Software. Back in August 2015 it was revealed that Oculus VR and its own parent company, Facebook, had failed to stop the lawsuit from going ahead, and now it’s been revealed that the latter’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is being ordered to testify in the case.

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PC World is reporting that Zuckerberg is being ordered to depose in the case due to his ‘unique knowledge’ of the situation. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Stickney made the ruling. Facebook purchased Oculus VR for some $2 billion USD back in 2014. It was shortly after this that ZeniMax Media launched its lawsuit against the company, which lead the Oculus Rift creators to label the move as a ‘transparent‘ cash-in on that deal. Facebook had tried to keep its CEO out of the situation, but ZeniMax Media’s argument that Zuckerberg would have personally tested prototypes for the Oculus Rift that this dispute is based around seems to have prevailed.

A Facebook filing read: “This is clearly improper under the apex doctrine, which requires a party to demonstrate that a high-ranking corporate executive has unique, relevant personal knowledge before attempting to take their deposition.”

The lawsuit relates back to the very early days of the Oculus Rift when creator Palmer Luckey first began to collaborate with John Carmack after talking online. Carmack was the first to showcase an extremely early prototype of the Oculus Rift – famously held together with duct tape – during E3 2012. ZeniMax Media is claiming that the Doom developer’s transition to Oculus VR involved the unlawful use of company-owned tech. ZeniMax Media has said that it received no compensation for the use of its resources in developing the Oculus Rift.

There’s no doubt still a long way to go until this conflict is resolved, and the Oculus Rift itself won’t be releasing until Q1 2016. VRFocus will continue to follow the device closely, reporting back with the latest on both it and the company behind it.