Judge Deals Major Blow To $500M Oculus Lawsuit Ruling

The legal drama rages on.

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ZeniMax Media's big win against Oculus has gotten a little smaller. U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of Dallas has revised the terms of the $500 million result, halving it to $250 million. The judge also rejected ZeniMax's request to ban sales of Oculus headsets.

Bloomberg (via GamesIndustry.biz) reports that Kinkeade affirmed the ruling from February 2017 of a $200 million award for breach of contract and another $50 million for copyright infringement. But he eliminated another $250 million that had been awarded by the jurors in that case, for infringement as well as damages against Oculus co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe.

Oculus argued that its infringement wasn't substantial enough to warrant such a large award. To that end, it cited that it only copied seven lines of code from ZeniMax, "out of approximately 42 billion lines."

Paul Grewal, VP and deputy general counsel of Oculus parent company Facebook, said in a statement: "We've said from day one the ZeniMax case is deeply flawed, and today the court agreed. Our commitment to Oculus is unwavering and we will continue to invest in building the future of VR."

ZeniMax is still pursuing similar legal action. Last year it also filed suit against Samsung, alleging that when John Carmack worked at id Software, he discussed an "attack plan" for mobile VR with Oculus employee Matt Hooper, which Hooper than took to Samsung.

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Vodoo

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Even though they used a few lines of code, 250 million still seems excessive when there's billions of lines of code. I guess they had to be important pieces.

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BigFeef

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Edited By BigFeef

Any competent programmer can copy the functionality of any given code without copying it directly. They went from Zenimax's lawsuit being baseless to "we only copied a few lines of code". This just confirmed what many already suspected: they stole Zenimax's VR tech when Carmack went to work for them.

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Spaced92

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Edited By Spaced92

@BigFeef:

So it's still different code. This isn't uni, in real world programming we're rarely reinventing the wheel when we make an application, on top of that I'd still agree if he wasn't the one that wrote the code in the first place, and we're really talking about 7 lines that are the same? If I write a similar application twice, I'd easily do that accidentally. Of course that's just taking Oculus's word for it, but the Judge certainly thought it excessive.

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Thanatos2k

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So you're still liable for 250 million, and you pretend like this is vindication?

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Barighm

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"We didn't copy anything" becomes "We only copied 7 lines of code".

This is why I scratch my head whenever anyone accuses a cynic of being a tinfoil-hatter.

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Smosh150

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Edited By Smosh150

@Barighm: It does make me wonder though, what were the lines of code. I know there are some programmers who have no organization or some software which kills me a little on the inside, but it just has me curious whether if the truth if it is something that should be taken to court (Outside of a business seeing monetary gains only).

Now, I do want to put out there I am an Oculus user myself and am trying to remain unbiased. So if I do seem so I really am not, I am a VR user who goes for what suits me, not a brand only (Pimax is what is next on my radar).

Cynics are never bad in my opinion either, sometimes it is just difficult to distinguish one from someone who will "hate" on something no matter the situation. Accusing and insulting off the bat is rather distasteful to me, determining the reason why and trying to understand their point of view is the first step.