Court rules in favor of Zenimax on Oculus Rift Lawsuit

The lawsuit that was the gaming worlds equivalent of a messy divorce in which your bitchy ex-wife (or ex-husband) is trying to take you for everything you have has finally come to an end. The jury has ruled in favor of Zenimax Media against Oculus VR and its parent Facebook, awarding $500 million in damages to Zenimax.

The trial had focused on the claims that Palmer Luckey had violated his Non-Disclosure Agreement and that ex-id Software founder and current CTO of Oculus VR John Carmack had stolen documents and a proprietary development tool and destroyed any leftover copies before leaving after his falling out with Zenimax. The trial has been a long and arduous one, in which people from across the tech world from Zenimax Executives, to Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, John Carmack and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the stand.

The jury found that Oculus VR had not used any stolen intellectual property, allowing it to claim moral and PR victory in the case, but still decided that Non-Disclosure Agreements had been violated and awarded Zenimax the $500 million. The breakdown of the decision is as follows:

  • Oculus, and by extension Facebook since it owns Oculus and has the bigger pocketbook, must pay $200 million for violation of the NDA that Palmer Luckey had signed with Zenimax.
  • Oculus must pay $50 million for copyright infringement as well as a second $50 million for the charge of false designation, the act of lying about an origin.
  • Oculus Co-founder and former CEO Brendan Iribe must pay $150 million for false designation while Co-founder Palmer Luckey must pay $50 million for the same charge.

This sequence of events is by no means over however as Oculus and Facebook are appealing the ruling. Meanwhile Zenimax, like the former mentioned ex-wife/husband who is not satisfied until they have completely ruined their ex-partner, has stated that it is looking to pursue an injunction against any future sales of the Rift, promising that we’re likely to be hearing about this for at least a couple more years.

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