Rifted Success: Facebook Loses Oculus Case
|Ed Tech Up|
The backstory is slightly confusing, so bear with me. The current chief of technology officer at Oculus is John Carmack. Before his appointment, Carmack was in the process of developing a prototype VR headset for id Software, a game development studio of which ZeniMax is the parent company. Palmer Luckey, co-founder and CEO of Oculus, exchanged emails with Carmack while he was employed by id Software. Somewhere in the chain of correspondence, Luckey broke a non-disclosure agreement. Additionally, ZeniMax argued that six of its ex-employees worked with Luckey to engineer the Rift headset using ZeniMax research and computer code. For a thoroughly detailed and dense verdict analysis, visit Road to VR.
The trial was held over three weeks in a district court in Dallas, Texas where Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, spoke against ZeniMax, "It's pretty common when you announce a big deal that people just come out of the woodwork and claim they own some part of the deal." The jury ruled that the defendants - Facebook and Oculus - did not plunder ZeniMax's trade secrets, but did find them guilty on other counts.
During closing arguments, ZeniMax attorney Anthony Sammi fought for Facebook to pay $4 billion, split equally between compensation and damages. Oculus attorney Beth Wilkinson claimed that the lawsuit was driven by jealousy and anger, not facts.
An Oculus spokesperson delivered a rather positive message in regards to the trial: "The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax's trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor ... Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they've done since day one - developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate. We look forward to filing our appeal and eventually putting this litigation behind us."
|ZeniMax Media Inc.|
The lawsuit came as Facebook announced a 51% jump in its fourth-quarter thanks to advertising revenue; the increase came from mobile advertising, making up 84% of profits. The quarterly profit, $3.57 billion, more than doubled from last year, $1.56 billion. The unprecedented success is partly due to the 1.86 billion active users, a growth of 17% from last December.
On that happy note, I leave you with this:
Rifted Success: Facebook Loses Oculus Case Reviewed by Jacqueline Litvan on Thursday, February 02, 2017 Rating: