Bloomberg reported this week that the $500 million penalty levied at Oculus in last year’s case brought by ZeniMax has been reduced to $250 million. A motion seeking to prevent sales of Oculus products using code attributed to ZeniMax has been rejected, according to the publication.

ZeniMax took Oculus to court after its acquisition by Facebook in 2014; the company alleged that Oculus stole intellectual property developed by Oculus’ now-CTO John Carmack back when he was employed by ZeniMax’ child company id Software. In the case’s initial verdict back in 2017, the jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million in damages, to be paid by Oculus and key employees. A detailed breakdown of the 2017 verdict is available here.

Citing court documents in the high profile ZeniMax v. Oculus case, Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade this week cut down the penalties levied against Oculus company from $500 million to $250 million.

Oculus is still on the hook for $250 million for copyright infringement and breach of contract, as found by the jury, but an additional $250 million penalty for trademark infringement and false designation ($50M against Oculus, $150M against founder Brendan Iribe, and $50 million against founder Palmer Luckey) has been nullified.

According to the report, ZeniMax’s efforts to halt sales of the Oculus Rift and Gear VR (and ostensibly Oculus Go) headsets was rejected by the judge.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • anony

    So basically Oculus stole their original headset tech from Zenimax….

    • Rob

      Wrong. Zenimax is in the business of taking other companies to court to make a profit. They have a history of doing so.

      • JJ

        Alright that’s your opinion, but their CTO went from ZeniMax to Oculus and then used their code inside the oculus and zenimax proved it. For other patents and patent troll these situations are shitty, but this isnt a patent, this was direct intellectual property via code that they were able to prove was inside the oculus and belonged to zenimax. Its pretty clear cut because most of these programmers leave watermarks within their code, without that mark or the code being 100% the same they would not have won this case. They didn’t settle they lost.

        • Rob

          From all I have read and researched, Zenimax has done this same thing to other companies. Zenimax was offered the Oculus VR platform multiple times, and turned it down. Then they lost their talent along with numerous employees and the company they passed on sold for 2 billion. Zenimax is in the revenge business. Look at how they did not support Oculus on Fallout VR. They tried to stop Oculus sales, and they wanted 20% of future Oculus sales…. they failed on those counts. And the $500 million was just reduced to $250 million. Zenimax is not what they once were.

          • JJ

            gotchya thats good to know

          • JJ

            yeah I hadn’t spent much time researching Zenimax till not but holy shit you guys are right theyre just trolls. and it sucks:(

          • dogtato

            Yeah, they’re upset that they made bad executive decisions and are trying to reverse it with lawyers. I’m not saying Oculus didn’t appropriate anything that Zenimax had a legal claim to, but Zenimax is very disingenuous with their claims that they really wanted to do VR and had all these investments but evil Carmack and Oculus conspired against them.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Yep – basically a shit company that goes after a buck via legal means rather than actually you know, doing the work.

            I predicted the settlements would likely be reduced and almost no chance of halting the sales. I did think they might get a cut for a period of time from the sales, but looks like that it isn’t happening (fortunately).

        • Sandy Wich

          From what I read, as long as John Carmack isn’t lying, “which ofc he could be”, Zenimax pulled random universal coding from their software, that wasn’t actually theirs, but LOOKED like it could have been, and won the case off of that using the ignorance of the judge/jury in their own favor.

          Kind of like if someone said you stole their bike, showed pictures of it, and tried to say because the bike you have has similar paint chip that all bikes will have, it was obviously you.

          Either way it’s clear who the fathers of VR are, and the people involved in making that industry exist, and it has either very little or exactly nothing to do with Zenimax.

    • KUKWES

      actually it was code not headset tech but yeah who wants to do business with Zenimax with their rep unless you have to.

    • brandon9271

      Here’s the thing. Carmack didn’t STEAL anything. All the code and ideas came from his own brain but Zenimax can try to claim them if he had these ideas while working for them. It’s messed up but it’s the way the law works sometimes. It reminds me of the case where musician John Fogerty was sued for plagerizing himself

  • Sandy Wich

    Zenimax, one of the big POS of videogames. :)

  • MarquisDeSang

    No one will do business with Zenimax ever again.

  • Jay degaris

    Zenimax are part of the Russian Mafia, this is NO BS. Do your research

  • Palmer can unclench at last

    • Sandy Wich

      I just wish he didn’t go full retard and start doing brain dead shit like paying for trolls to influence politics.

      Like how fucking stupid does someone have to be in order to do that?… He went from a hero to a complete idiot within minutes.

      Sigh… I’ll always respect what he did for VR. I credit him still as the ENTIRE reason why VR is where it is now, and that’s almost certainly true. But still… Respect has been lost.

      Maybe too much money too soon for a kid who doesn’t know what to do with it, that and stress and expectations made him a bit screwy.

      Hope that phase passes though, he can still offer so much for VR if he just re-applies himself properly.