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Judge halves Facebook’s Zenimax payout to $250 million in Oculus dispute

Headset sales won’t be blocked either, Judge rules
Judge halves Facebook’s Zenimax payout to $250 million in Oculus dispute
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A US Judge has rejected Zenimax’s request to ban sales of Oculus headsets.

Bloomberg reported that US District Judge Ed Kinkeade has updated the ruling between Zenimax Media Inc and Facebook regarding stolen code. The social media giant will now pay $250 million to the publisher, half the $500 million initially granted in the case.

The $500 million sum was reduced after Oculus argued the copyright infringement wasn't "substantial" enough to warrant that amount. Of the “approximately 42 billion lines” of code at Oculus, only seven were claimed to have been directly stolen from Zenimax.

Kinkeade upheld the jury’s decision to award $200 million for breach of contract in February 2017, plus $50 for copyright infringement.

The additional $250 million award was wiped, including damages against Oculus co-founders Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey.

Open market

Kinkeade also rejected Zenimax’ intention to block sales of Oculus Rift hardware. Oculus argued that such a ban would place enormous stress on the company. Since Zenimax had no rival headset of their own, Oculus explained that no rival product is suffering over the Rift’s availability.

The lawsuit against Oculus was first filed in 2014 by Zenimax. The publisher accused Id Software co-founder John Carmack and Oculus’ Luckey of stealing copyrighted code to reverse engineer the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

“We’ve said from day one the ZeniMax case is deeply flawed, and today the court agreed,” said Facebook vice president Paul Grewal.

“Our commitment to Oculus is unwavering and we will continue to invest in building the future of VR.”