Zuckerberg denies Oculus technology was stolen

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg found himself in the Dallas federal court this week defending allegations that its Oculus virtual reality technology was stolen from a rival company.

Mr Zuckerberg took the witness stand on Tuesday, and was questioned about where Oculus obtained its ideas and how much he knew about the company before Facebook acquired it for $2 billion (£1.6bn).

A lawsuit against Oculus was put forward by videogame publisher ZeniMax Media in 2014, in the middle of the Facebook-Oculus deal.

ZeniMax claimed that Oculus “unlawfully” used its intellectual property to develop the virtual reality system that includes the Rift headset.

The claim relates in part to programmer John Carmack, who worked for id Software LLC before it was acquired by ZeniMax. He is now the chief technology officer at Oculus.

Mr Zuckerberg denied allegations that Mr Carmack used computer code from his previous position. He also told the courtroom that the technology was not even fully formed when Facebook bought it.

“The idea that Oculus technology is based on some else’s is just wrong,” he said. “There is no code shared in what we do.”

He also testified that he was not aware of any theft claims against Oculus when he acquired it.

“It’s pretty common when you announce a big deal that people just come out of the woodwork and claim they own some part of the deal,” he added.