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VR Trial Concludes, Facebook Penalised $500 Million

The jury responsible for the outcome of the on-going legal drama between videogame publisher ZeniMax and Facebook-owned VR giant Oculus has delivered its verdict.

The jury ruled in the favor of ZeniMax, awarding the company $500 million dollars, but noted that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets as claimed.

It’s a substantial sum but given the $8.8 billion in revenue that Facebook brought in this quarter, likely one that the social network can absorb.

The legal battle between the two parties commenced last month, with both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe testifying.

As reported previously, ZeniMax claim that former employee John Carmack stole intellectual property when he left the company to join Oculus in 2013.

Of the $500 million, $300 million is to be paid by Oculus for breaking NDA, copyright infringement and false designation. Oculus cofounders Luckey and Iribe will also be penalised for $50 million and $150 million, respectively.

However, word is that Oculus is already readying an appeal of the verdict.

“The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor,” an Oculus spokesperson told Polygon.

“We’re obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today’s verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they’ve done since day one – developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate,” they said.

In the meantime, ZeniMax says they “will consider what further steps we need to take to ensure there will be no ongoing use of our misappropriated technology, including by seeking an injunction to restrain Oculus and Facebook from their ongoing use of computer code that the jury found infringed ZeniMax’s copyrights.”