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Facebook's hefty fine in Oculus-Zenimax case has been halved to $250 million


image credit : Flickr/ Anthony Quintano

A Texas jury has now ruled that Facebook's payment to software company Zenimax which was ordered to be a huge $500 million last year for a copyright infringement lawsuit in relation to its Oculus VR unit has now been halved to the sum of $250 million by United States District Judge Ed Kinkeade after a new ruling that sufficient evidence couldn't be found against Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe which made them responsible for false designation as claimed in the initial lawsuit which results in the $250 million payment intially ruled on their part being taken off.

This fine imposed on Facebook now rules $200 million to be paid for breach of contract with Zenimax whilst the other $50 million is to paid for copyright infringement concerning the case.

This also comes as the Judge ruled against a request by Zenimax for the sale of Oculus headsets to be stopped in relation to copyright infringement for which it was argued that the stopping of its VR headset sales was going to affect Oculus' operations negatively, An argument the Judge favored in the case of this lawsuit.




The beginning of this legal battle between both companies can be traced to a lawsuit by Zenimax in 2014 which is the same year the then less than 2 year old startup Oculus was acquired for a huge sum of $2 Billion outright along with an additional $1 Billion in employee retention packages and goal targets where Zenimax claimed that Oculus stole its intellectual property for use in its VR devices and alleged that its former employee, notable 3D and gaming prodigy John Carmack took some of its secrets when he left the company for Facebook where he now serves as Oculus' CTO.

In relation to this, Carmack filed a counter-suit against Zenimax in a $22.5 million lawsuit which he alleged was the amount Zenimax owed him in legal contract payouts.

Facebook isn't the only company embroiled in legal battles with Zenimax, Zenimax also sued Samsung last year over claims its Gear VR headset made use of Oculus' technology protected by Intellectual Propery without permission, Zenimax also claimed Carmack allowed a former employee of id by name of Matt Hooper into Zenimax's facilities after working hours to work out what it termed an "attack plan" in the developing of mobile VR technology which was used in Samsung's gear headset.

In addition to this, Just this month Zenimax' Bethesda game studio unit sued Entertainment giant Warner Bros. alleging that its Westworld mobile game developed by Canada's notable gaming studio Behaviour Interactive copied parts of Bethesda's popular video game Fallout Shelter with the company seeking a monetary awards for damages and also requesting for the Westworld sales to be stopped, Warner Bros. has deemed its allegation as 'Baseless' with the company stating that none of Bethesda codes which Behaviour Interactive wrote for the development of its Fallout Shelter video game way back in 2014 was used for the making of its Westworld game.









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