UPDATE: In more developments, ZeniMax may seek an injunction to temporarily stop the sale of Oculus Rift headsets.
“We will consider what further steps we need to take to ensure there will be no ongoing use of our misappropriated technology,” a ZeniMax spokesperson told Polygon, “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.”
The jury found that programming luminary John Carmack did take files from his former employer before leaving to work at Oculus. Namely, he took Rage's source code, and copied thousands of files to a USB stick. ZeniMax asserts they won the judgement because "Carmack intentionally destroyed data on his computer after he got notice of [the] litigation and right after he researched on Google how to wipe a hard drive..." No money was awarded on this count, however.
“While we regret we had to litigate in order to vindicate our rights, it was necessary to take a stand against companies that engage in illegal activity in their desire to get control of new, valuable technology,” said a ZeniMax spokesperson.
Oculus have yet to comment, but they plan to appeal the case.
Original story follows:
Half a billion USD has been awarded to ZeniMax today, following a courtroom battle between the company and Oculus – the virtual reality group owned by Facebook. A Texas jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million USD after finding Oculus founder Palmer Luckey failed to comply with a non-disclosure agreement he signed.
The jury also found that Oculus didn’t steal trade secrets.
ZeniMax originally started its legal battle in 2014, after claiming that former employee John Carmack copied code from his computer before when he moved to Oculus. They said that without that code, the Rift – the company’s virtual reality headset – wouldn’t have existed.
They also questioned Luckey’s training and expertise, as well as Facebook’s rushed acquisition of Oculus for $2 billion USD.
ZeniMax was originally seeking $2 billion USD in damages. We’ll update this story as more news and statements come in.