The virtual reality company, Oculus VR, a Facebook subsidiary that was accused of designing its Rift helmet using technology stolen from Zenimax, a video game specialist, was ordered to pay a fine of $ 462 million.During the trial, Zenimax explained that some of his patents, computer codes and technical know-how on virtual reality had been used by one of his former employees who had played a key role in the development of this virtual reality helmet Which Oculus began to market last year.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook boss who appeared in person at the Federal Court in Dallas, said the complaint was “unfounded” and that Zenimax had not contributed to any of its technologies.Improving this technology does not make it yours
At the hearing, the boss of Facebook argued that the technology of this headset was not fully developed when Facebook bought it. “Improving this technology does not make it yours,” replied Zenimax’s lawyer, adding, “If you steal my bike, repaint it and add a horn, does it make it yours?”. In fact Oculus and Zenimax worked together in 2012 to create the demonstration of the science fiction game Doom 3 for the Oculus Rift.
During his audition, Mark Zuckerberg did not fail to raise the strange latency of the video game publisher. “It’s relatively common, at the time of the announcement of a big deal, to see people out of the woods and claim ownership of a part of the deal,” the Facebook boss said. The lawsuit began when Facebook was negotiating the takeover of Oculus … for 1.8 billion euros.
If Zenimax demanded 3.7 billion euros, the jury did not find elements of guilt for Facebook but they retained several charges including several copyright infringements and breaches of contract.Meanwhile, Facebook should continue to invest in virtual reality. Mark Zuckerberg has planned to invest 2.77 billion euros in the next decade.