Exactly how and why Zenimax was awarded $500M in lawsuit against Oculus

Zenimax has been awarded $500m in a recently concluded legal battle with Oculus. Here’s a detailed breakdown of exactly which charges stuck, and which claims Oculus was found innocent of.

The years-long legal battle between Zenimax and Oculus drew to a close yesterday, as the court ruled in Zenimax’s favor after two days of deliberations. As a result, Zenimax is owed a total of $500 million for a variety of charges against Oculus, CTO John Carmack, and co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe.

Now that the dust has had a chance to settle, a pair of legal experts sat down to analyze the jury's verdict and to explain the decisions behind each individual charge.

The full breakdown on Road to VR by Matt Hooper and Brian Sommer is very nearly required reading if you’re someone who wants to better understand the charges levied against Oculus in the lawsuit.

Both experts explain each charge in digestible language that reveals important information game developers could find beneficial about IP theft, copyright infringement, NDA violations, and more.

During the case, a jury was tasked with deciding if defendants, including Carmack, Luckey, Iribe, Oculus and Oculus’ parent company Facebook, were guilty of seven charges put forth by Zenimax. 

Those charges, as named by the Road to VR article, were Common Law Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract, Tortious Interference With Contract, Unfair Competition, Conversion, and Trademark Infringement and False Designation.

Ultimately, only three of the charges (Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract, and Trademark Infringement and False Designation) stuck, resulting in the court ordering several of the individual defendants to pay out a combined $500 million to Zenimax.

Head over to Road to VR for the full breakdown of each of those charges, including explanations about both the jury’s decisions and the monetary value assigned to each.

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