Mark Zuckerberg has reiterated his position that Oculus developed its technology and that the leading VR company that Facebook acquired for $2 billion back in 2014 did not steal the trade secrets of ZeniMax, a rival firm at the time.
While testifying in the highly publicised trial, Zuckerberg said that it is always the case that when a company is on the verge of getting acquired for a large sum of money, some players are bound to emerge and claim credit for part of the deal.
‘The idea that Oculus stole the technology of ZeniMax when developing its products is simply wrong,’ he said.
The legal conflict between ZeniMax and Oculus has a long history. Before Facebook expressed interest in Oculus, it was alleged that John Carmack, the co-creator of Doom, took the technology that he had developed for ZeniMax to Oculus, when he became the Chief Technology Officer for Oculus.
According to the presentation of the prosecution lawyers, it is alleged that Facebook failed to carry out due diligence on Oculus before purchasing the then small VR company.
Interestingly, ZeniMax presented evidence in the form of text messages between Mark Zuckerberg and his legal team. In the text messages, it was indicated that Amin Zoufounoun, the Facebook Vice President for corporate development, said that some of the things that Oculus had told Facebook before the acquisition were not true.
However, it was reported that Mark Zuckerberg asked his executive to press forward with the matter within the shortest time possible so that the company could go ahead with the acquisition plans.
According to Zuckerberg, the fact that Oculus was a small business at the time did not warrant a detailed legal due diligence process. Besides, Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook was interested in signing the deal within the shortest time possible.
Interestingly, the prosecution lawyers were keen to use the evidence to show that Facebook was so much determined to sign the deal within the shortest time possible and that in doing so, the company may have failed to check the background of the key technology of Oculus.
It was reported that the trial nearly turned humorous when the prosecution team alleged that Facebook might have broken a few things in its bid to move fast and break things. This was a smart play on the long-standing motto of Facebook which has been, ‘move fast and break things.’
However, Zuckerberg was quick to dismiss the insinuation, insisting that he firmly believes that Oculus built its technology from the ground up and that Facebook did not break anything in the course of acquiring the company back in 2014.