A Texas court recently came to the conclusion that oculus the vr company and their parent company Facebook owe game publisher zenimax 500 million dollars because oculus founder Palmer lucky violated a non disclosure agreement, since winning zenimax have said they may now try to block sales of the VR headset.
So how did all this come to pass? the legal battle begun over 2 years ago and has become brutal with both sides lashing out at the other, many eyes have been watching this case due to it including huge names such as facebook and having two companies fight over rights to technology that is expected to be the future of gaming and worth billions of dollars. zenimax won due to being able to prove that lucky used insider knowledge to advance their headset. Facebook have only had to get involved due to them buying the VR company for 2 billion dollars earlier that year.
zenimax claimed that oculus founder palmer lucky formed oculus with six former zenimax employees and built the headset from zenimax’s research and code, they claim that the idea for the rift was actually theres all along and that palmer lucky and his team stole it and beat them to the punch. Zenimax aimed for a six billion dollar claim against Facebook for copyright infringement and damages along with lucky violating a non disclosure agreement that he signed whilst working at zenimax.
Zenimax argued that the college dropout couldn’t have built the hardware himself, and that Carmack’s hire “made breakthrough modifications to the rift prototype based upon years of research at zenimax.” Palmer lucky took to the stand and denied all of these charges as well as Facebook ceo mark zuckerberg defending Palmer and oculus. during the closing statements zenimax described what oculus had done as theft and demanded compensation.
In the end the court found oculus not guilty of stealing from zenimax however they did find Palmer lucky guilty of violating his non disclosure agreement leading to a 500 million dollar payout from Facebook.