Facebook and ZeniMax Media have officially settled the long-running lawsuit that alleged Oculus stole intellectual property developed by the company’s current CTO John Carmack back when he was employed by ZeniMax’ child company id Software.
ZeniMax took Oculus to court after its acquisition by Facebook in 2014. Three years later the jury convened at the Federal District Court in Dallas and ended up awarding ZeniMax $500 million in damages, to be paid by Facebook and key Oculus employees.
In June this year, that figure was reduced by half, bringing ZeniMax’s claim against Facebook to $250 million. Those remaining damages covered copyright infringement and breach of contract, however damages relating to trademark infringement and false designation were rejected, which stipulated that Oculus pay $50 million, then-CEO Brendan Iribe pay $150 million, and co-founder Palmer Luckey pay $50 million.
Another point rejected by the judge at the time was the halting of Oculus Rift and Gear VR sales.
The amount of the actual settlement, which was announced yesterday, is however undisclosed. Presumably it was less than the $250 million that was on the table earlier this summer.
An Oculus spokesperson had this to say about the settlement:
“We’re pleased to put this behind us and continue building the future of VR.”
Robert Altman, ZeniMax’s Chairman and CEO, had this to say:
“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.”
Perhaps now ZeniMax, via child company Bethesda Software, will feel more confident bringing its games Skyrim VR (2017), Fallout 4 VR (2017), and future VR projects direct to the Oculus Store. Up until now, Bethesda has only published their games to Steam and Viveport for obvious reasons.
Although we don’t expect to see bad blood wash off so quickly, at very least Oculus has extracted one of the most serious thorns in their side since the company was acquired by Facebook back in 2014.