Facebook’s Zuckerberg Trades Trademark Grey T-Shirt For Suit To Testify In Oculus IP Trial Versus Fallout Publisher ZeniMax

One of the perks of being the billionaire co-founder of Facebook is being able to show up at work in t-shirt. Of course, there are times when Mark Zuckerberg chooses to dress up. Such was the case when he took the stand in a federal courtroom earlier this week to defend against allegations that Oculus stole technical information that went into the creation of the Rift headset.

"We are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology. The idea that Oculus products are based on someone else’s technology is just wrong," Zuckerberg said according to The New York Times, which noted that he wore a suit and tie when testifying rather than his typical attire of a t-shirt and jeans.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg prefers casual attire, as shown above, to dressing up in a suit and tie

ZeniMax Media sued Oculus shortly after Facebook announced it was acquiring the start-up in 2014. While ZeniMax might not be a household name, it owns some highly popular development studios and publishers, including Bethesda and id Software, makers of Fallout 4 and Doom, respectively. Nevertheless, Zuckerberg took a shot at ZeniMax's reputation during his time on the stand.

"It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something that all kinds of people just kind of come out of the woodwork and claim that they just own some portion of the deal," Zuckerberg. "Like most people in the court, I’ve never even heard of ZeniMax before."

Few people thought the lawsuit would end up going to trial in front of a jury, but more than two years later, here we are. One interesting revelation to come out of Zuckerberg's testimony is the true cost of acquiring Oculus. At the time the buyout was announced, the deal was said to be for $2 billion, or half what Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe was seeking. However, Facebook also agreed to $700 million more in compensation to retain key Oculus employees, along with $300 million in bonuses for reaching certain milestones. In total, the deal ended up costing Facebook $3 billion.

Oculus Rift

ZeniMax's suit is centered on game programmer John Carmack. He came on board ZeniMax when it acquired his studio, id Software, for $405 million in 2009. He resigned in November 2013 to join Oculus full-time. ZeniMax's issue is it believes Carmack copied thousands of documents, including trade secrets and computer code, from a PC at ZeniMax to a USB storage drive and never returned them after leaving the company.

Zuckerberg said that virtual reality has not fully arrived yet, and that it could take five more years or even a decade of further development before VR gets to where he believes it needs to go. That's probably regardless of how this lawsuit plays out, which if Facebook loses, it could face as much as $2 billion in damages.