According to Premium Times, a U.S. jury in Texas has slapped Facebook Inc, its virtual reality unit Oculus, and other defendants with a combined $500 million fine as they lost their suit against ZeniMax Media Inc, a video game publisher that says Oculus stole its technology.
ZeniMax dragged the defendants to court on the claim that video game designer John Carmack, developed core parts of the Rift’s technology while working at a ZeniMax subsidiary before Oculus used a similar code.
The jury in Federal Court in Dallas found Oculus, which Facebook acquired for about two billion dollars in 2014, used ZeniMax’s computer code to launch the Rift virtual-reality headset.
Though the jury ruled that none of the defendants misappropriated ZeniMax’s trade secrets, it found Oculus’ use of computer code directly infringed on ZeniMax’s copyright.
The jurors held Carmack and different Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe liable for forms of infringement.
The jury also found Oculus liable for breaching a non-disclosure agreement Luckey signed with ZeniMax in 2012, when he began corresponding about virtual reality with Carmack.
ZeniMax Chief Executive Robert Altman hailed the verdict and said in a statement the company was considering seeking an order blocking Oculus and Facebook from using its code.