×
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

  • Etika-Desmond-Amofah

    Gaming YouTuber Desmond 'Etika' Amofah Found Dead, NYPD Says

    Desmond Amofah, a YouTube gaming vlogger known online as “Etika,” was found dead by New York police on Tuesday after he was reported missing last week. He was 29. Amofah posted YouTube videos and live-streams focused on Nintendo games and other titles. A body later confirmed to be Amofah’s was found in the East River on [...]

  • harry potter wizards unite

    'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite' Off to Slower Start Than 'Pokemon Go'

    Niantic’s new location-based augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is off to a solid start — but it doesn’t seem to have quite the same momentum as “Pokemon Go” did when it launched 3 years ago. That’s according to initial estimates from app analytics specialist Sensor Tower. “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” first became available [...]

  • survios at the linq

    Not Just Gambling: Las Vegas Is Becoming a Virtual Reality Hub

    Walk into the Linq on the Las Vegas strip these days, and you might not immediately realize you just stepped into a casino. Instead, you’ll stumble across a series of living-room-like lounge setups, complete with leather couches, big-screen TVs, Xbox Ones and Oculus Go VR headsets. There’s also a bar with a massive wrap-around touch [...]

  • Netflix HQ LA

    Netflix Engineers Developed a Rumble Pack Feature During Latest Hack Day

    A duo of Netflix employees had a unique idea for making the service’s shows even more stirring: They added a rumble pack option to the Netflix app as part of the company’s latest hack day. When watching shows like “Voltron,” the feature makes phones vibrate in sync with the action on the screen, similar to [...]

  • Niantic's Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Game

    ‘Harry Potter: Wizards Unite’ to Launch This Week

    “Pokemon Go” maker Niantic is getting ready to launch its next big game: “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” is set to launch in June 21, the company revealed in a tweet this week. The worldwide launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite begins this Friday, June 21! Keep your eyes peeled and wand ready for more information [...]

  • Sarah Iooss - Twitch

    Twitch Hires Sarah Iooss, Former Mic and Viacom Exec, as Head of North America Sales

    Twitch has tapped Sarah Iooss, most recently EVP of revenue at millennial-news startup Mic, to lead the advertising sales team in North America for the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform focused on video gaming. Iooss will be based in New York, reporting to chief revenue officer Walker Jacobs, who joined Twitch last fall after serving as [...]

  • littlstar ps4 app

    Littlstar Expands Beyond VR With New PS4 App, Signs Up 30,000 Paying Subscribers (EXCLUSIVE)

    A&E-backed immersive content aggregator Littlstar is expanding beyond virtual reality (VR): The New York-based startup launched a dedicated PlayStation4 app this week, giving users of Sony’s game console access to their personal media libraries, as well as both traditional and 360-degree video content from a variety of publishers. Littlstar also announced that it signed up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content