ZeniMax, the owner of game studios Bethestha Softworks and id Software has been awarded $500 million (around £400 million) by a jury in its lawsuit against Oculus Virtual Reality and its parent company, Facebook, according to Polygon.
Facebook purchased Oculus VR in 2014 for $2 billion. After deliberating for two and a half days, the jury concluded Oculus did not appropriate Zenimax’s trade secrets.
According to Polygon, Oculus is paying out $200 million of the $500 million judgement for breaking the NDA, and another $50 million for copyright infringement. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and Oculus will each have to pay $50 million for false designation. Brendan Iribie, the former CEO, is also ordered to pay $150 million for false designation.
We’ve reached out to Facebook and ZeniMax and will update this story when we hear back.
This is the conclusion of a three-week long trial, during which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and Oculus Chief Technology Officer John Carmack all testified in a Federal courtroom in Dallas, Texas. ZeniMax alleged that Facebook was complicit in stealing trade secrets from ZeniMax in part when Facebook hired former Senior ZeniMax employee Carmack away to work as CTO, and that Luckey violated a non-disclosure agreement he signed with ZeniMax.
Zuckerberg became testy with lawyers from ZeniMax while testifying last month, saying he’d never heard of the company when ZeniMax filed its lawsuit.
“It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something like that all kinds of people come out of the woodwork and claim that they just own some portion of the deal,” Zuck said. “Like most people in the court, I’ve never even heard of ZeniMax before. I know that our legal team would look into this and examine but they aren’t going to take a lot of my time on something they don’t think is credible.”
ZeniMax disputed the widely accepted story of the creation of the Oculus Rift headest, that Luckey had developed it in his parents' garage. ZeniMax claimed that in reality, Carmack had reimplemented things he worked on while he was an employee at id after he joined Oculus. ZeniMax tried to prove this point to jurors by showing a video interview where Carmack shows off a functioning virtual reality headset before he had ever met or collaborated with Luckey.