Round Two Of Oculus/Zenimax Trial Fails To Reach Verdict
Following a ruling in the favor of video game publisher Zenimax back in February, the second round of the ongoing legal battle between the company and the Facebook-backed VR player Oculus has commenced this week.
Although Facebook and Oculus were hit with substantial fines after the first trial, the stakes this time could reach much further.
With the jury in the first trial tenuously establishing that even if Facebook and Oculus hadn’t necessarily “stolen” trade secrets to build the Oculus Rift headset, they did “improperly” use them for financial gain.
The company now faces an injunction against the sale of the Rift headset, a move that could upset Facebook’s huge ambitions for the growing virtual reality market.
A spokesperson told Bloomberg that there would be “business effects” if the injunction was to be enforced but did not elaborate on what that might entail with any specifics.
What’s more, it’s possible that a second ruling against the interests of Oculus and Facebook could bode ill for an additional lawsuit filed against Samsung’s GearVR – which is marketed as “Powered by Oculus” and said to be built on much of the same technology.
According to Oculus’ lawyers, “the injunction would create a windfall for ZeniMax while detracting from the public’s enjoyment of Oculus’s groundbreaking products.”
They say that an injunction would have more than financial effects on the company, potentially disrupting their entire development platform.
According to them, they “would have to hire clean-room engineers to make myriad changes not just to the code fragments ZeniMax presented at trial, but to numerous other segments of interrelated and interdependent code.”
Zenimax has yet to comment on the latest developments in the case.
The judge presiding over the case has declined to make a decision in the case earlier today, encouraging both parties to reach a settlement out of court.
Given the precarious verdict of the first trial, it’s difficult to say who will prevail – or even if a second lawsuit will deter Facebook from continuing to invest in the VR space and the company it already spent $2 billion to acquire.