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Oculus founder Palmer Luckey sued by ex-VR employer for breach of contract

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Palmer Luckey and Oculus VR have been hit with a new lawsuit alleging that the co-founder of the virtual reality firm breached a confidentiality agreement with a former employer, which was developing its own VR technology.

The suit, filed by Total Recall Technologies in California court this week, accuses Luckey of taking confidential information he learned while under contract and using it to develop his own device, the Oculus Rift.

According to the suit, TRT contracted Luckey to develop a head-mounted display in 2011 and signed an agreement to keep details of that work confidential. Through 2012, TRT provided Lucky with feedback in order to improve the design of the display, the suit says.

"Without informing [Total Recall Technologies] ... Luckey took the information he learned from the Partnership, as well as the prototype that he built for the TRT using design features and other confidential information and materials supplied by the Partnership, and passed it off to others as his own," the suit says.

Total Recall is seeking unspecified damages from Luckey and Oculus VR.

Last year, Oculus VR was sued by Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media, accusing Luckey of misappropriating trade secrets.

Oculus launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Rift in August 2012, raising $2.4 million from more than 9,000 backers. Facebook purchased Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. The company plans to release the consumer version of its VR headset in the first quarter of 2016.

A representative for Oculus VR declined to comment on the suit.

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