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Zenimax wants $4B from Facebook over alleged Oculus tech theft

The legal battle between Zenimax and Facebook approaches an end as both sides delivered closing argument from on Thursday after weeks of proceedings.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

January 27, 2017

2 Min Read

After weeks of courtroom conflict, the legal battle between Facebook and Zenimax is nearing a possible end. Attorneys for both sides shared closing arguments yesterday for the jury tasked with deciding if Facebook-owned Oculus created its virtual reality headset with intellectual property stolen from Zenimax. 

The jury began deliberations Thursday and is expected to deliver a verdict in the case on January 30.

Zenimax, who first accused Oculus of stealing trade secrets and copyrighted code in 2014, used its closing arguments to ask the jury to award it $2 billion in compensation and $2 billion in punitive damages, says Polygon

"We’re here because the defendants stole something very valuable," said Zenimax attorney Anthony Sammi, who maintained the company's position that the technology powering Oculus' Rift headset was illegitimately obtained and used by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and CTO John Carmack.

Sammi's arguments centered around emails and exchanges between Carmack and Oculus engineers that supported the company's claims, and expert testimony that accused Oculus of willingly destroying evidence by wiping hard drives shortly before sharing said drives with the court.

Additional reports from GameSpot say that Zenimax has also asked Oculus execs for a total of $734.4 million, including for $427 million from former CEO Brendan Iribe, $206 million from Luckey, and $101.4 million from Carmack.

Oculus' legal counsel Beth Wilkinson closed by telling the jury that Zenimax's lawsuit was driven by jealousy, anger, and embarrassment rather than factual claims. Wilkinson highlighted statements from Oculus engineers saying the code was developed without using Zenimax IP and shared exchanges where Zenimax heads expressed apprehension about the future of VR.

A detailed outline of the closing arguments from both Zenimax and Oculus, along with a summary of the evidence levied against each side, can be found on Polygon

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About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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