Science

Facebook loses $500m virtual reality case but profits double

Facebook loses $500m virtual reality case but profits double

Facebook has been ordered to pay $500 million in damages in a lawsuit claiming the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was based on stolen technology.

According to reporting from Polygon, the jury did not find that Oculus stole trade secrets from ZeniMax, and therefore the award was lower than the $4 billion that ZeniMax was seeking.

Oculus is liable for $300 million in the verdict ($50 million for trademark infringement, $50 million for copyright infringement, and $200 million for breaking the NDA), while Luckey owes $50 million and former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe owes $150 million (both for false designation).

ZeniMax had sued Oculus following the $2 billion acquisition of the company by Facebook in 2014.

A Texas jury awarded the sum to video game publisher ZeniMax Media Inc after determining Oculus executives violated a ZeniMax non-disclosure agreement in the early days of building the Oculus headset.

For its part, Oculus claimed the suit was merely an attempt to profit off Oculus' success, since it was filed shortly after the company's multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook.

Comcast is about to sell you cable TV without the cable box
It "will not include the ability to rent or buy programming or play back previously purchased programs", the cable company said. There's also a possibility the bean counters at Comcast will decide the outlet charge should be lower for a Roku box.

Facebook said it was "disappointed" by aspects of the verdict but was "undeterred".

ZeniMax maintain that Carmack took research and software technology with him when he left, that was used to help create Oculus Rift, and that is primarily what the court case has been about. ZeniMax claimed that in reality, Carmack had reimplemented things he worked on while he was an employee at id after he joined Oculus. Oculus says it plans to appeal the false designation charge. It alleged that software he developed at ZeniMax was key to making the Rift work, and that Oculus dodged attempts to establish a licensing deal.

We guess Palmer Luckey isn't so lucky any more...

ZeniMax's lawyer, Tony Sammi, argued that Oculus committed a "heist", covered it up by destroying evidence and made off with "a lot of money" when it was bought out by Facebook.

Carmack admitted in testimony that he had copied thousands of e-mails to a personal hard drive on his last day at ZeniMax, but he maintained that he rewrote any code used on the Rift and Gear VR headsets from scratch.


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