×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge Halves $500 Million Payout In Facebook ZeniMax Lawsuit

A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg.

ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder Palmer Luckey stole trade secrets and used them to create the Rift headset. It also said Facebook rushed through its acquisition process and didn’t properly vet Oculus and its executives.

ZeniMax Media is the parent company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks, known for popular role-playing game franchises “The Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout.” It also owns Id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, and more. Bethesda is currently engaged in its own lawsuit over alleged stolen code with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Behaviour Studios. It claims the developer used code from its mobile sim “Fallout Shelter” to create a similar game based on the HBO television show “Westworld.”

A jury sided with ZeniMax against Facebook in February 2017 and awarded the company $500 million, but U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas reportedly cut that amount to $250 million on Wednesday. He awarded $200 million for breach of contract and $50 million for copyright infringement. He eliminated the other $250 million, which included the damages against Oculus co-founders Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey. He also rejected ZeniMax’s request to ban sales of Oculus Rift headsets.

Oculus argued the copyright infringement wasn’t “substantial” because only seven lines of code were copied literally from ZeniMax “out of approximately 42 billion lines,” according to Bloomberg.

“We’ve said from day one the ZeniMax case is deeply flawed, and today the court agreed,” said Facebook vice president and deputy general counsel Paul Grewal in a statement. “Today’s ruling slashed the verdict in half, granted our motion for sanctions, and fully denied ZeniMax’s attempt to stop us from selling and marketing our products. This was a positive step toward a fair resolution, and we will be appealing the remaining claims. Our commitment to Oculus is unwavering and we will continue to invest in building the future of VR.”

ZeniMax, meanwhile, said it’s weighing its next steps. “Based on a strong evidentiary record, the jury in this case found that ZeniMax was seriously harmed by the defendants’ theft of ZeniMax’s breakthrough VR technology and its verdict reflected that harm,” it said in a statement.

More Gaming

  • Telltale Begins Liquidation, Pulling Games From

    Telltale Begins Liquidation, Pulling Games From Steam

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

  • THQ Nordic Has 55 Games in

    THQ Nordic Has 55 Games in Development, 35 Prepped for Announcement

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

  • EA Officially Remastering Two 'Command &

    EA Officially Remastering Two 'Command & Conquer' Games

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

  • Tyler Raj Barriss

    Accused Serial Swatter Pleads Guilty to 51 Charges, Faces 20 to 25 Years in Prison

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

  • angry birds rovio

    Ex-Gameloft Exec Joins 'Angry Birds' Developer Rovio Entertainment

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

  • Ubisoft's Rabbids Get 4D Lightgun Amusement

    Ubisoft's Rabbids Get 4D Lightgun Amusement Park Ride

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

  • Harry Potter Wizards United

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Augmented-Reality Game to Launch in 2019

    A Texas judge has halved the amount of money Facebook must pay ZeniMax Media for allegedly using stolen computer code in its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, according to Bloomberg. ZeniMax sued Facebook in 2014 after Id Software co-founder John Carmack joined Oculus as its chief technology officer. The company claimed Carmack and Oculus founder […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content