Three years after the lawsuit was filed against defendant Oculus in 2014, plaintiff and Bethesda parent company Zenimax Media Inc. has been awarded $500 million from the virtual reality company.
The $4-billion suit alleged that Oculus and its founder, Palmer Luckey, broke a signed non-disclosure agreement regarding the use of the Zenimax-owned id Software’s code. id’s co-founder and current Oculus CTO John Carmack had corresponded with Luckey while still working at id, while Luckey was still developing the Oculus Rift’s prototype. The young Oculus founder had even used Doom 3, an id game, for a demo meant to sell early backers on the device. Zenimax claimed that Carmack had provided Luckey with id tech before formally leaving the company to join Oculus.
Today, according to Polygon, a Texas jury awarded Zenimax the half billion after deciding that Luckey had in fact broken his NDA. However, the jury also found that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets as the plaintiffs had put forth.
A while back, Carmick did confess to taking documents and code from id prior to his departure, saying to a Zenimax lawyer, “I copied files that I shouldn’t have. I think stealing is an uncharitable way to look at it since I didn’t benefit and Zenimax didn’t lose, but I shouldn’t have done it, and I did.”
During the suit, Facebook (who bought Oculus in March of 2014 for $2 billion) claimed that Zenimax was simply embarrassed for not having bought the VR company when presented with the earlier chance, and that they wished to “rewrite history” with the lawsuit.
As the verdict was only delivered hours ago, it’s unclear as of now how it will affect the companies. Stay tuned to Paste for more potential developments in the case’s fallout.