In a case that’s gripped the virtual reality (VR) industry, a final verdict has been reached on the legal battle between Oculus and Zenimax. A jury has awarded Zenimax $500 million USD because of Oculus violating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) but found the company not guilty of misappropriating trade secrets.
On the result Oculus released the following statement: “The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor. We’re obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today’s verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they’ve done since day one – developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate. We look forward to filing our appeal and eventually putting this litigation behind us.”
The original suit – filed back in May 2014 – was for $4 billion, so Zenimax isn’t getting the payout it wanted and Facebook/Oculus – which always maintained innocence – is having to pay more than it thought it should, especially after Mark Zuckerberg revealed the real cost of acquiring Oculus in the first place.
But that $500 million isn’t one lump sum either, it’s split down across various facets of the case. Polygon reports that $200 million was for the NDA violation, with another $50 million for copyright infringement. A further $50 million will have to be paid by both Oculus and Palmer Luckey for false designation, while former CEO Brendan Iribe gets hit with a $150 million bill for false designation as well.
While that should be the end of the lawsuit, Zenimax is definitely pushing ahead with its VR development now. Earlier today VRFocus reported on the company announcing the acquisition of Escalation Studios, the studio behind, Please, Don’t Touch Anything.
For all the latest Oculus news, keep reading VRFocus.