Facebook founder has spoken about virtual reality as an important part of the company’s business.
Dallas: Facebook Inc chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took the witness stand in Dallas federal court on Tuesday and denied an allegation by a rival company that the virtual-reality technology of Facebook’s Oculus unit was stolen.
Mr Zuckerberg, the founder of one of the world’s largest companies, faced hours of tough, public questioning about where Oculus obtained its ideas and how much he knew about the startup when Facebook bought it for $2 billion.
A jury is hearing evidence in a civil lawsuit brought by videogame publisher ZeniMax Media Inc against Oculus in 2014, in the middle of the Facebook-Oculus deal. ZeniMax said Oculus unlawfully used its intellectual property to develop the virtual-reality system that includes the Rift headset.
During one heated exchange with ZeniMax lawyer Tony Sammi, Mr Zuckerberg told a jury in the courtroom that the technology was not even fully formed when Facebook bought it.
“Improving on that technology doesn’t make it yours,” Mr Sammi countered. “If you steal my bike, paint it and put a bell on it, does that make it your bike?,” he added.
Mr Zuckerberg, wearing a dark suit and striped tie rather than his typical T-shirt and jeans, answered, “no,” but then added: “The idea that Oculus technology is based on someone else’s is just wrong.” The Facebook founder has spoken about virtual reality as an important part of the company’s business, especially as the technology becomes less expensive and its uses clearer.
The Oculus acquisition was more expensive than the $2 billion price tag indicated, Mr Zuckerberg said in court.