In San Francisco yesterday, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court ruled that part of a lawsuit against Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey could proceed today. The lawsuit is brought on by Total Recall Technologies in reference to Luckey’s employment with the company in 2011. Luckey was hired to build a prototype head-mounted display for the company, and as typical in these projects a confidentiality agreement was signed.
Between 2011 and 2012, Total Recall Technologies alleges, information regarding improved designs and user feedback was given to Luckey to improve his designs. According to the suit, the contract was breached when Luckey branched on his own and started a Kickstarter campaign which was the genesis of the Oculus Rift device.
The timing of this lawsuit is the basis for Luckey’s disputes. He’s claimed publicly that the lawsuit is a “brazen attempt to secure for itself a stake in Oculus VR’s recent multi-billion dollar acquisition by Facebook.”
The timing could also be attributed to design decisions in the final Oculus Rift development kit and upcoming retail products. Total Recall Tech. must have some evidence linking their feedback and information to the final design for the lawsuit to proceed. What these details are will remain to be seen.
When Palmer Luckey announced the sale of his Oculus Rift company to Facebook for a staggering $2 billion, many of Luckey’s Kickstarter supporters and others around the world’s digital landscape openly criticized the move. While others found Palmer Luckey to be charismatic and genuinely creative, to many he had become the “face of virtual reality.” Should the allegations be found to be correct and regardless of which side of the fence you are on regarding Mr. Luckey, I can’t say I find any of this surprising in the least. After all Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is experienced in the art of selling out people then silencing them with shares of his company. The Oculus Rift sale agreement probably included private training seminars. For now I am just going to wait for the inevitable announcement that Jonah Hill will play Palmer Luckey in the upcoming film The Virtual Network.Source: Reuters