Zenimax awarded half a billion dollars in Oculus lawsuit

Facebook-owned Oculus must pay half a billion dollars after losing VR lawsuit

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Zenimax Media has been awarded $500 million dollars in damages in its legal battle against Oculus, after two-and-a-half days of deliberation by a jury.

The amount falls way short of what the parent company of Bethesda Softworks was asking for; Zenimax’s original demand was $2 billion in damages and $4 billion in punitive damages, but it’s still a lot of cash nonetheless.

Zenimax filed a lawsuit against Oculus back in 2014, alleging that the the developers had misappropriated trade secrets from ZeniMax that were integral to the creation of the Oculus Rift.

Oculus, for its part, said that the lawsuit was simply sour grapes, stating that Zenimax was “embarrassed [and] humiliated” that it hadn’t invested in the technology before it became a success.

The jury in Dallas saw things differently; while it found that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets, it did find that company CEO Palmer Luckey did not comply with an NDA he’d signed with Zenimax. Facebook, Oculus’s parent company was not found liable.

Here’s how the awarded costs breakdown:

  • Oculus has been ordered to pay $200 million for non-compliance with the NDA and another $50 million for trademark infringement.
  • Oculus and Palmer Luckey have been ordered to pay $50 million each for false designation.
  • Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has to pay $150 million for false designation.

The trial got underway in January of this year and contained enough drama to fuel a dozen episodes of The Good Wife. Palmer Luckey didn’t exactly have the best time during his appearance in court, while Oculus CTO (and id Software founder) John Carmack confessed on the stand to taking documents and code from Zenimax before he left.

Oculus says it will file an appeal and it hopes to put this litigation behind it soon.

Zenimax, however, doesn’t seem to be done with Oculus just yet, saying it may seek an injunction to temporarily halt sales of the Oculus Rift

“We will consider what further steps we need to take to ensure there will be no ongoing use of our misappropriated technology,”  Zenimax told Polygon, “including by seeking an injunction to restrain Oculus and Facebook from their ongoing use of computer code that the jury found infringed Zenimax’s copyrights.”

[Source: Polygon]