Face­book, Ocu­lus to Pay $500 M in VR Law­suit

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

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.”

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