Facebook, Oculus to Pay $500 M in VR Lawsuit
Washing ton: A US jury on Wednesday ordered Facebook and creators of its Oculus Rift to pay $ 500 million to gaming software firm ZeniMax in a lawsuit that claimed the virtual reality technology was stolen. The Texas jury made the award in a trial in which Oculus was accused of basing its Rift headset on technology stolen from ZeniMax’s virtual reality software, court documents showed. The lawsuit claimed Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and his colleagues developed the virtual reality gear using source code illegally obtained from the gaming firm. The jury dismissed the charge that Oculus stole or misappropriated trade secrets but found Oculus liable for copyright infringement and other violations. Luckey was ordered to pay $ 50 million of the award and another former Oculus executive, Brendan Iribe $150 million.
The two executives were accused ofviolatinganon-disclosureagreement with ZeniMax and copying the source code and other documents on a USB storage device. ZeniMax had sought $4 billion in damages in the case, in which Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg testified to defend his company. Maryland-based ZeniMax said it was “pleased” about the award for “unlawful infringement of our copyrights and trademarks, and for the violation of our nond i s c lo s u r e a g r e e ment wit h Oculus pursuant to which we shared breakthrough VR technology that we had developed and that we exclusively own”. Rober t Alt man, Zeni Max’s ch a i r man a nd chie f exe c ut ive, s a id i n t he st at ement : “Technology is the foundation of our business and we consider the theft of our intellectual property to be a serious matter.”
In its statement, Oculus said: “The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favour.”