Oculus and founder sued by Total Recall Technologies.

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Oculus and founder sued by  Total Recall Technologies.

A Hawaii-based company called Total Recall Technologies (TRT) is suing Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and its founder Palmer Luckey, saying that Luckey used confidential information he learned from the company in 2011 to build his own head-mounted display.

In a complaint filed in the Northern California US District Court (PDF), TRT says that its two partners, Ron Igra and Thomas Seidl, developed and patented a method to take video of a real-world scene and display it in a head-mounted display using an “ultra-wide field of view.” Seidl met Luckey in 2010 in connection with his work on developing head-mounted displays, and contacted him in 2011 to build a prototype for TRT.

“At all relevant times, the information provided to Luckey by TRT was confidential, and TRT expected the information to remain confidential,” the complaint says.

Over the course of 2011, Seidl allegedly gave Luckey the specifications he wanted for the head-mounted display and paid for the parts. Luckey signed a non-disclosure agreement on August 1, 2011, and shipped a completed device to TRT on August 23, 2011. “Throughout the latter half of 2011 and into 2012, Seidl provided confidential feedback and information to Luckey in order to improve the design of the head-mounted display,” TRT asserts.

Luckey launched a Kickstarter for Oculus Rift in 2012 and found support from thousands of backers. Over the next three years, Oculus shipped two developers kit versions, and has demoed a third prototype, called Crescent Bay. In 2014 Oculus was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion. The company recently announced that its first consumer version will be available in the first quarter of 2016.

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