Oculus today was ordered to pay half a billion dollars to game company ZeniMax. Three weeks back, we reported that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was headed to court over allegations of violating a non-disclosure agreement, stolen intellectual property, and a made-up origin story about Luckey.
Today, a jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million. It wasn’t the $4 billion the company asked for, but the sizable judgement isn’t exactly chump change, either.
The award is composed of $200 million for the NDA violation, $50 million for copyright infringement, $50 million against co-founder Palmer Luckey for false designation — a legal term used to describe misrepresentation of a product or service — and a $150 award against former CEO Brendan Iribe, also for false designation.
The lawsuit stings, but what might hurt even more is the $250 million a half-baked origin story about Luckey building Oculus in his parents garage eventually cost the company. Live and learn.
An Oculus spokesperson told Polygon:
The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax’s trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor. We’re obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today’s verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they’ve done since day one – developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate.
The company plans to appeal the ruling.