US Jury Ordered Facebook to Pay $500m in Damages over VR Lawsuit

Technology - Pavan Pandey - Feb 02,2017

Rating -

stars - based on 21 reviews

us jury ordered facebook to pay 500m dollars in damages over vr lawsuit

On Wednesday, a US jury ordered Facebook Inc., its VR unit Oculus, and other defendants to pay a combined sum of $500 million to video game publisher, ZeniMax Media Inc.

According to the ZeniMax Media Inc. Facebook’s subsidiary company Oculus VR stole its technology. Facebook Inc. acquired Oculus VR for approx. $2 billion in the year 2014. 

The US jury in federal court in Dallas found Oculus used ZeniMax Media’s computer code to launch the Rift virtual- reality headset.

The Chief Executive Officer of ZeniMax, Robert A. Altman welcomed the verdict against Facebook and said in a statement the ZeniMax Media was considering seeking an order blocking Facebook and Oculus VR from using its code. It is undecided what impact that what would have on the Rift’s market availability.

According to ZeniMax Media, its former video game designer John Carmack developed the core part of Rift’s technology during his tenure with ZeniMax. Oculus VR hired Mr. Carmack in 2013.

The US jury found Oculus VR guilty of copyright breach, failure to submit with a non-disclosure agreement, and misuse of Oculus trademarks. However, it found Oculus blameless of other charges, including stealing of trade secrets.

Though the jury administrated that none of the offenders stolen ZeniMax's trade secrets, it found Oculus VR’s use of computer code directly breached on ZeniMax's patent. The US judges detained John Carmack and co-founders of Oculus VR, Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey liable for procedures of infringement.

According to the spokeswoman of Oculus VR Emily Bauer, the company would appeal the jury's verdict on trade secrets theft. She further added that Oculus is obviously upset by a few other parts of the verdict.

The stock of Facebook Inc. was not influenced by the decision. In after-hours trading shares of the company were up by 3%, following the announcement of a fourth-quarter earnings report that beat future possibility.