ZeniMax requests $6 billion in damages from Facebook in Oculus lawsuit with claims that Oculus built its Rift VR headset from trade secrets at ZeniMax.
Back in 2014, The Elder Scrolls developer ZeniMax Online Sudios filed a lawsuit against Oculus, claiming the latter’s VR headset was built from technology stolen from ZeniMax. In August 2016, ZeniMax expanded the suit to include direct accusations toward id Software co-founder and Oculus chief technology officer John Carmack in the lawsuit.
An Oculus spokesperson reached out to Game Rant at the time to refute the claims and say the company would “address all of ZeniMax’s allegations in court.” Those proceedings started a few weeks ago and closed yesterday with ZeniMax asking a Texas federal jury for $6 billion in damages.
In addition to the $6 billion, ZeniMax also requested payments for damages from three of Oculus’s top executives: $101.4 million from Carmack, $206 million from Palmer Luckey, and $427 million from Oculus’s former CEO Brendan Iribe.
Essentially, ZeniMax’s argument boils down to the claim that Oculus wouldn’t have achieved success without the collaboration that happened between Carmack and Luckey, and that it was the stolen technology and trade secrets that allowed Carmack the ability to help Oculus succeed. Additionally, ZeniMax makes clear its claim that Carmack and Luckey began their collaboration while Carmack was still working at ZeniMax. Law360 reported on the court discussions:
“ZeniMax alleges that the entirety of Oculus is built on a foundation of stolen code and stolen ideas and that the innovations the company has since reached would not be possible without modifications Carmack made to a prototype virtual reality headset built by Luckey, and without two virtual reality versions of video games coded by Carmack to function on the modified Oculus headset.”
Facebook and Oculus continue to maintain their position that, while Carmack played an important role at Oculus, the VR headset itself was developed with technology Oculus created. Facebook denies Oculus used any code Carmack developed while at ZeniMax.
With the closing arguments finished, the jury will begin deliberation on Monday morning. Where the jury will land is anyone’s guess, but both sides seems confident in their positions and arguments during the court proceedings. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes for the jury to come to a verdict and how it affects both companies.
Naturally, whatever the jury decides will undoubtedly result in appeals from one or both sides, so while the Texas federal jury may come to a conclusion in the near future, this likely isn’t the last that gamers will hear of the battle between ZeniMax and Oculus.
What do you think about ZeniMax’s request for $6 billion from Facebook for damages over Oculus?