Philbin in Law360: Mark Zuckerberg Can't Dodge Deposition In Oculus IP Row


A Texas federal judge on Monday said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can’t avoid a deposition in a trade secrets suit filed against the social media giant’s virtual reality company Oculus VR LLC, shooting down Facebook’s arguments that Zuckerberg didn’t have unique knowledge of the dispute.

In ordering the deposition to take place, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney found that Zuckerberg has personal knowledge related to the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that ZeniMax Media Inc. claims utilizes its trade secrets and copyrighted software. Facebook acquired Oculus last year for $2 billion.

“Given Mr. Zuckerberg's active participation in Facebook's acquisition of Oculus, he has unique knowledge, as Facebook's founder, chairman and CEO, regarding his own decision to acquire Oculus and his valuation of Oculus based on his testing of the Rift headset which ZeniMax alleges includes misappropriated ZeniMax technology,” the judge wrote in a four-page order.

However, Judge Stickney said the depositions of lower ranking employees such as Oculus founder Palmer Luckey should take place before Zuckerberg’s deposition, “so that less intrusive discovery can be exhausted and information that could adequately be obtained from lesser ranking employees will be acquired before his deposition” ...

ZeniMax is represented by ... Phillip B. Philbin and Michael D. Karson of Haynes and Boone, LLP.

Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, please click here (subscription required).

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