Zenimax awarded $500 million in lawsuit against Oculus

After two and a half days of deliberation, a Texan jury awarded Zenimax a fraction of the $4 billion sought by the company following an extended legal battle with Oculus over VR tech.

According to Polygon, a jury has awarded $500 million to Zenimax after evaluating the company’s numerous claims that Oculus built its VR headset using technology and information illegitimately obtained from Zenimax.

In closing arguments last week, Zenimax asked the jury to award the company $2 billion in compensation and an additional $2 billion in punitive damages. 

Instead, after two and a half days of deliberation, the jury awarded Zenimax just $500 million after ruling that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets, but that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey had in fact violated a non-disclosure agreement. 

As such, Oculus is on the line for $200 million for the broken NDA, in addition to $50 million owed for copyright infringement and another $50 million for false designation.

The two co-founders are responsible for covering the remainder, with Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe owing $50 million and $150 million respectively, also for false designation. 

The case has been slowly building momentum since Zenimax first filed the lawsuit against Oculus back in 2014. At the time, Zenimax claimed that Luckey and Oculus unlawfully exploited and infringed on its intellectual property. The company said that Oculus’ VR technology was built on “trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how” originally developed by Zenimax and obtained illegitimately by Oculus.

The case moved to the courtroom last month, where Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg took to the stand to detail Facebook’s sudden acquisition of Oculus in 2014 and to refute Zenimax’s claims.

Last week, both sides presented closing arguments to the court. The jury was expected to deliver a verdict by January 30, but instead the group mulled over the details for two and a half days to arrive at today’s final decision. 

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