Oculus loses big, jury awards $500 million to ZeniMax

Oculus Chief Technology Officer John Carmack voiced his opposition to the $500 million judgement found against his company yesterday by a Dallas, Texas, jury, saying it was "just not true" that Oculus copied source code from some of Carmack's virtual reality work at id Software.

Almost three years after ZeniMax first filed suit against Oculus for "illegally misappropriating ZeniMax trade secrets relating to virtual reality technology", the case has finally drawn to a close-though likely not to ZeniMax's satisfaction.

The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax's trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor.

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ZeniMax sued Oculus for allegedly stealing its intellectual property.

At the end of the three-week trial, which saw Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called to the stand, ZeniMax said it was happy with the result.

Oculus told the site they would be appealing the verdict.

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The $500m Facebook and Oculus has to pay, while substantial, is much less than the $2bn (£1.6bn) originally asked for by ZeniMax.

Facebook said it was "disappointed" by aspects of the verdict but was "undeterred". ZeniMax claimed that in reality, Carmack had reimplemented things he worked on while he was an employee at id after he joined Oculus. ZeniMax also claimed that throughout 2012, Oculus and Luckey lacked the required expertise to create a "viable virtual reality headset".

The company said it is now looking into a separate court order to limit Oculus and Facebook's use of the code, and could, in theory, pursue commission on Oculus sales. 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. The reason? Apparently, Palmer Luckey didn't comply with a non-disclosure agreement. However, the jury also found Wednesday that Oculus didn't violate any trade secrets.

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ZeniMax, which is based in Rockville, Maryland and has designed video games such as Doom and Quake, said Carmack began communicating with Luckey in 2012, who at the time, was working on a virtual reality headset called Rift.