Facebook and ZeniMax Settle Lawsuit Over Alleged Theft of Virtual Reality Technology
After more than four years of litigation, Facebook and ZeniMax settled a lawsuit Wednesday in which the video game company alleged that the social media giant stole its virtual reality technology to develop Oculus products.
ZeniMax filed its lawsuit shortly after Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in March 2014. ZeniMax accused former employee John Carmack, who co-founded the company’s id Software—which created Doom and other popular video games—of stealing data from ZeniMax computers and using its resources to improve VR headset Oculus Rift’s prototype before officially joining Oculus as its CTO.
Although ZeniMax first sought $2 billion, a 2017 jury awarded the company $500 million after finding Facebook guilty of charges including copyright infringement. This ruling was appealed by Facebook, leading to a Dallas district court adjusting the amount to $250 million in June. Both companies appealed that ruling, which eventually led to this settlement.
While the terms of the settlement haven’t been disclosed, ZeniMax chairman and CEO Robert Altman told CNBC in a statement that he was “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,” Altman continued.
ZeniMax and Facebook didn’t immediately respond to Fortune‘s requests for further comment.
ZeniMax was also sparring with Carmack in the courtroom. But following lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, Carmack tweeted that his “personal legal disputes” ended in October. “Zenimax has fully satisfied their obligations to me from the purchase of Id Software, and we have released all claims against each other.”
The end of the lawsuit may give Facebook more time to focus on its VR endeavors and the future of Oculus itself, which lost co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe this fall.