Daily Archives: May 23, 2014

The Tricky Business of NDAs

May 23, 2014 | Suzanne Jackiw

OculusRift1ZeniMax recently challenged Oculus VR over unspecified technology used in the Oculus Rift.

ZeniMax claims that Oculus breached its duty to hold technical information confidential by integrating it into their own product. This would have occurred when John Carmack left id Software, a subsidiary of ZeniMax, to join Oculus. At that time, Oculus would have had access to ZeniMax technology in the early stages of Oculus development, as well as the veritable library of know-how Carmack developed during his time at id.

ZeniMax may be right. Employers generally own work produced by their employees within certain restrictions. These ownership rights are usually further bolstered within employment contracts by explicit assignments. In many cases, if you work on something while employed at a particular company, the company owns that work product. id Software claims that Carmack’s contract contained just such a clause. Under that type of contract, if he was working on a project anything he made belongs to id Software, unless an explicit exception was made. Continue reading…

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