Image of the Facebook Oculus Rift

ZeniMax And Facebook Have Finally Settled On Their VR Lawsuit

Some time ago, when John Carmack left the house of ID Software and went to Facebook to work on the Oculus Rift, a nasty lawsuit took place. This lawsuit accused Carmack of taking several trade secrets with him when he left ZeniMax and they weren’t too thrilled about it all. Finally, after months of litigation, both sides have decided to settle on an amount of money that many of us will never see in our lives.

This lawsuit first started in May 2014, with the verdict being reached in In late-January 2017, A verdict that awarded ZeniMax $500,000,000. It’s only now that we’re reaching the final conclusion of the litigation.

ZeniMax Media Inc. announced today that it had agreed to settle the litigation it brought against Facebook, Oculus and others for the unlawful misappropriation of its breakthrough VR technology that ZeniMax had developed. The case was tried in the Federal District Court in Dallas in January 2017, resulting in a jury verdict in favor of ZeniMax for $500,000,000, and other relief. Subsequently, the District Court reduced the damage award to $250,000,000, and the parties appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The appeal was pending when the settlement was reached with Facebook. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

In the end, while the damages were reduced, ZeniMax got the results they were looking for. That’s a huge chunk of change that Facebook now has to pay out.  According to Robert Altman, ZeniMax’s Chairman and CEO, the company is happy this is over and done with.

We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome. While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties.

No word on how or if this will affect the Oculus Rift going forward. The terms of the settlement are also unknown – did Facebook pay the entire amount or did they reach an agreement to pay less?