Total Recall Technologies filed a lawsuit in Northern California, alleging Palmer Luckey used information he gleaned while working for the Hawaii company to found Facebook-owned VR company and startup darling Oculus Rift.
Ron Igra and Thomas Seidl, Total Recall’s partners, developed a method to display real-world scenes and display it virtually. The pair claims to have paid Luckey and had him sign an NDA and exclusivity agreement in 2011. In 2012, they allege Luckey claimed the innovations and prototype he was developing for Total Recall as his own, despite their agreements.
“At all relevant times, the information provided to Luckey by TRT was confidential, and TRT expected the information to remain confidential,” Ars Technica reports the complaint as saying.
Ryan Ozawa of this blog and Hawaii Blog, noted that in 2013: “Seidl and Ron, listed as being based in Haiku on Maui, were ultimately granted patent 9,007,430 for a ‘System and method for creating a navigable, three-dimensional virtual reality environment having ultra-wide field of view.'”
Luckey launched Oculus Rift as a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. However, he and the company were the subjects of controversy when he sold the company to Facebook for $2 billion — some objected to selling to Facebook, while others felt slighted they were not entitled to the payouts due to VCs and traditional investors because they backed the company though Kickstarter.
Texas-based video game publisher ZeniMax also filed suit against Oculus Rift in May, alleging that John Carmack (of Doom fame) left Id Software with its IP and poached employees. Carmack took a position as Oculus CTO in 2013.
Ozawa noted that ZeniMax’s lawsuit coincides with the time period of Luckey’s alleged work with Total Recall and the Kickstarter campaign.
Via Hawaii Blog and Ars Technica. Photo by Maurizio Pesce/flickr.