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The long-running lawsuit concerning Oculus technology has finally come to a close, with ZeniMax being awarded a large sum of money over a non-disclosure agreement that, according to the ruling, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey violated.
Only initial reports from the ruling are available right now but, as it sits, it looks like Oculus is going to have to pay about $500 million.
The last major development from this lawsuit came about five months ago, when ZeniMax made claims that members of the Oculus team had, in short, stolen virtual reality technology. Oculus reached out to us at the time stating that ZeniMax's claims were one-sided and that Oculus would address those allegations in court.
That process has wrapped up now, but it looks like a Texas jury is mostly siding with the complainant. According to Polygon, the jury found that Luckey did not comply with a non-disclosure agreement he signed with ZeniMax. However, the jury also feels that the team at Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets, one of the major claims from ZeniMax in the suit.
The result of this finding is that Oculus is going to have to fork over a hefty chunk of change. According to the initial report, Oculus as a company will be responsible for $200 million for breaking the NDA and another $50 million for copyright infringement. On top of that, both Oculus and Luckey are responsible for paying $50 million each for false designation while Oculus' other co-founder Brendan Iribe is responsible for $150 million for the same charge.
Apparently, this was not a decision the jury came to lightly, as they made their ruling following nearly three days of deliberation.
And while $500 million certainly sounds like a hefty bill to cover, it's still a far cry from the $4 billion Zenimax attorney Anthony Sammi requested in his closing arguments. He apparently felt that $2 billion should have been due in compensation with another $2 billion tacked on for punitive damages.
As a reminder, Oculus now falls under the Facebook umbrella, so they're responsible for what comes next. Whether or not this hits the Oculus brand or future development remains to be seen.
Again, this ruling was only just passed down, too, so we'll try to keep this updated if any other facts come out throughout the evening. Facebook may decide to pay up and end the battle or they may decide to challenge the ruling or the financial judgment.
While the build-up to the trial was certainly lengthy, the case itself was settled in a matter of weeks. The whole shebang got rolling in early January and has drawn to a close here on the first of February. Despite all of that, depending on how both parties handle the results, this could either wrap up quickly or be carried on for quite a while longer.