ZeniMax awarded $500m in Oculus lawsuit

The ZeniMax vs Oculus trial is coming to an end as the jury awarded ZeniMax $500m (around 394m) after they found Oculus violated a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). ZeniMax initially asked for $4bn ($2bn in compensation and $2bn in damages) but the jury decided against it as Oculus was found not guilty of stealing trade secrets to create the Rift headset, which was ZeniMax’s initial claim.

Of the $500m awarded to ZeniMax, $200m will be paid by Oculus for breaking the NDA, $50m for copyright infringement, and another $50m for false designation. Co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe are respectively set to pay $50m and $150m, also for false designation. According to Polygon, Oculus plans to appeal the case.

The story probably won’t stop there, as ZeniMax is also determined to take the case further.

We will consider what further steps we need to take to ensure there will be no ongoing use of our misappropriated technology,” a ZeniMax spokesperson 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.”

While we regret we had to litigate in order to vindicate our rights, it was necessary to take a stand against companies that engage in illegal activity in their desire to get control of new, valuable technology.”

Meanwhile, Facebook (which owns Oculus) also provided an official statement on the matter:

The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor. We’re obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today’s verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they’ve done since day one – developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate. We look forward to filing our appeal and eventually putting this litigation behind us.”

The ZeniMax vs Oculus lawsuit started in 2014 when the former accused the latter of illegally misappropriating trade secrets that led to the creation of the Rift headset. The case finally went to court this January, with Mark Zuckerberg denying all accusations.

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