Facebook Required to Pay $50 Million to ZeniMax in Oculus Lawsuit

A Dallas jury found Wednesday that Facebook is required to pay $500 million to tech company ZeniMax in a lawsuit that questioned the technological origins of the revolutionary virtual reality goggle Oculus Rift.

The news, which was first reported on gaming website Polygon, came before Facebook (FB) smashed Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter earnings.

Maryland-based ZeniMax had sought as much as $4 billion in compensation and damages. The gaming company had alleged that when Facebook purchased Oculus from inventor Palmer Luckey for nearly $3 billion in 2014, it acquired a product that had been developed with its expertise.

“Technology is the foundation of our business and we consider the theft of our intellectual property to be a serious matter,” said Robert Altman, chairman and CEO of ZeniMax, in a statement. “We appreciate the jury’s finding against the defendants.”

ZeniMax also said it is considering whether to seek an injunction against Oculus and Facebook to prevent them from using the “misappropriated technology.”

Facebook said it would appeal the verdict.

“The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor,” a Facebook statement read. “We’re obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today’s verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. … We look forward to filing our appeal and eventually putting this litigation behind us.”

The Polygon report, which said Oculus will be appealing the verdict, notes that of the $500 million, Oculus will pay $200 million for breaking the NDA and $50 million for copyright infringement. Oculus and Luckey each have to pay $50 million for false designation, and Brendan Iribe, a cofounder of Oculus VR and now its CEO, has to pay $150 million for the same.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Marco della Cava

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