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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday February 02 2017, @12:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the digging-in-the-couch-cushions dept.

Mark Zuckerberg's first courtroom testimony hasn't gone over so well. A jury has awarded ZeniMax Media Inc. $500 million in damages in the Oculus Rift case:

The virtual reality headset maker that Facebook Inc. bought in 2014 for $2 billion used stolen technology, a jury said in awarding $500 million damages to ZeniMax Media Inc.

Jurors in Dallas federal court on Wednesday sided with ZeniMax in its trade-secrets case over the Oculus Rift, the device that has put the social media giant at the forefront of the virtual reality boom. The verdict is a rebuke of Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who isn't a defendant but who told jurors in his first-ever courtroom testimony that it was important for him to be there because the claims by ZeniMax Media Inc. were "false."

The case is ZeniMax Media Inc. v. Oculus VR Inc., 3:14-cv-01849, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas). Not to be confused with the Eastern District of Texas. From a 2013 article in Dallas News:

Judges in the Northern District, which includes Dallas and Fort Worth, saw an 18 percent increase in patent cases filed. And legal experts expect that number will significantly increase in 2013 now that three judges in Dallas have committed to focusing more of their time and expertise on intellectual property disputes.

Also at The Verge.

Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Mark Zuckerberg Will Testify in Oculus VR Trade Secrets Trial

Original Submission

Related Stories

Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn 35 comments

Several community members have commented on Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR...

Techwolf writes, "There is news spreading all over the net about Facebook buying up Occulus Rift. Some cheer, some are jeering as kickstarters backers felt betrayed along with open source folks."

Ethanol-fueled writes:

Some of you may have already heard of the Oculus Rift, the kickstarted VR headset platform associated with John Carmack. Earlier today, social networking giant Facebook purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion in cash and stock (chump change compared to the $19 billion it paid for WhatsApp) with plans not so much for VR-gaming, but for VR-real-life...

Mark Zuckerberg Will Testify in Oculus VR Trade Secrets Trial 4 comments

The CEO of Facebook will testify against accusations made by ZeniMax Media concerning virtual reality technologies used by Oculus Rift:

ZeniMax Media, the parent company of both Bethesda Softworks and Id Software, says it will prove at trial that John Carmack and others at Oculus stole trade secrets to "misappropriate" virtual reality technology that was first developed while Carmack was working at Id Software. What's more, ZeniMax is now accusing Oculus of "intentional destruction of evidence to cover up their wrongdoing." Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oculus parent company Facebook, is scheduled to respond to those accusations in testimony starting tomorrow, according to a report by Business insider.

"With the start of the trial of our case in Federal District Court in Dallas against Defendants Facebook, Oculus and its management, ZeniMax and id Software welcome the opportunity to present substantial evidence of the Defendants' misappropriation of our Virtual Reality (VR) intellectual property," ZeniMax wrote in a statement given to Ars. [...] ZeniMax's statement comes after Carmack testified at trial last week, saying the case was "ridiculous and absurd." His testimony echoed Oculus' initial reaction when ZeniMax's accusations first surfaced in 2014.

Previously: Zenimax Sues Oculus on Trade Secrets
Oculus VR made "factually inaccurate" statements in ZeniMax lawsuit, forensic analyst says

Original Submission

John Carmack Sues ZeniMax for $22.5 Million 6 comments

A month after Oculus was ordered to pay ZeniMax Media $500 million for infringement and trade secrets claims, John Carmack is suing ZeniMax for $22.5 million for an alleged breach of contract:

Now Oculus CTO and former ZeniMax employee John Carmack has added a personal lawsuit to the mix. He's suing ZeniMax for $22.5 million, which he claims is the last outstanding payment from his sale of id Software in 2009, which ZeniMax purchased for $150 million.

Carmack's share of that sale was $45 million. He converted half of it into ZeniMax shares in 2011, but says he hasn't received the rest of it despite asking nicely. The lawsuit is a little spicy, stating, "Sour grapes is not an affirmative defense to breach of contract."

Carmack claims that ZeniMax won't pay him because of its lawsuit against Oculus, which alleges Carmack broke his employment agreement. But since the verdict in the ZeniMax / Oculus case wasn't against Carmack, Carmack claims he should still get paid.

John Carmack vs. ZeniMax Media.

Also at Ars Technica and TechCrunch.

Original Submission

ZeniMax Media Sues Samsung Over Gear VR Headset 13 comments

How do you profit from virtual reality without the need for customers or products? You sue! Fresh from winning a $500 million judgment against Facebook/Oculus, ZeniMax Media is now suing Samsung:

Carmack, whose company id Software was acquired by ZeniMax in 2009, was one of the driving forces behind the Gear VR. While the headset was released by Samsung, it's described as "powered by Oculus," with heavy software optimizations developed by Carmack. But the lawsuit alleges that Carmack owed much of his success at Oculus to software he developed as part of a team at ZeniMax.

Among other things, the Texas court filing claims that Carmack secretly brought Oculus (and former ZeniMax) employee Matt Hooper into id Software's offices to develop an "attack plan" for mobile VR, which Oculus would later take to Samsung. The Samsung Gear VR was also built on some of the same code as the Oculus Rift, which was the subject of ZeniMax's earlier lawsuit.

Also at Ars Technica and PC Gamer. Zenimax v Samsung lawsuit. Gear VR.

Previously: Zenimax Sues Oculus on Trade Secrets
Mark Zuckerberg Will Testify in Oculus VR Trade Secrets Trial
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
John Carmack Sues ZeniMax for $22.5 Million
Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook

Related: Samsung to Open VR Movie Studio in New York
Goodbye Cardboard: Google to Create VR Headset to Compete with Samsung's Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR Adds a Tracked Controller

Original Submission

Oculus Rift: Dead in the Water? 42 comments

Facebook has cut the price of the Oculus Rift for the second time this year. It debuted at $800, was cut to $600 in March, and is now $400. Is there real trouble in the virtual reality market, or is it just a normal price correction now that early adopters have been served?

It means that the Rift now costs less than the package offered by its cheapest rival, Sony, whose PlayStation VR currently totals $460 including headset and controllers.

Even so, it's not clear that it will be enough to lure people into buying a Rift. A year ago, our own Rachel Metz predicted that the Rift would struggle against Sony's offering because the former requires a powerful (and expensive) gaming computer to run, while the latter needs just a $350 PlayStation 4 game console.

Jason Rubin, vice president for content at Oculus, tells Reuters that the reduction isn't a sign of weak product sales, but rather a decision to give the headset more mass market appeal now that more games are available. Don't believe it: this is the latest in a string of bad news for the firm, which has also shut down its nascent film studio, shuttered in-store demo stations of its hardware, and stumped up $250 million as part of a painful intellectual property lawsuit in the last six months.

Here's a February story about the Oculus demo stations at Best Buy stores being shut down.

Previously: Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Google Partnering With HTC and Lenovo for Standalone VR Headsets

Original Submission

Facebook Will Only have to Pay ZeniMax Media $250 Million in Oculus Infringement Case 2 comments

Oculus will pay ZeniMax $250 million for copyright infringement

Bethesda Softworks parent company ZeniMax Media has always been a little sue-happy. But maybe a recent decision from its case against Oculus (and by extension, Facebook) will cool its jets a bit. A jury recently decided that Zuckerberg and Co. will only pay $250 million of the initial $500 million claim from ZeniMax that when John Carmack left Bethesda-owned id Software for Oculus, he stole his former employer's intellectual property, according to Bloomberg.

Judge Ed Kinkeade ruled that Oculus would have to pay out $200 million for breach of contract and then and additional $50 million for copyright infringement. Additionally, Kinkeade declined ZeniMax's demand that sales of Oculus headsets be banned.

Previously: Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax

Original Submission

Politics: Facebook's Firing of Palmer Luckey Dredged Up Again 22 comments

Ex-Facebook exec ousted from company sparked controversy with pro-Trump views: report

A former top executive at Facebook who was ousted from the company may have been fired over his support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported Sunday that Palmer Luckey has recently told people that he was fired for supporting Trump before that year's presidential election. Luckey's donation in September 2016 to NimbleAmerica, a group that funded ads attacking Hillary Clinton, reportedly sparked backlash within Facebook.

Six months after making that donation, Luckey was no longer at the company. The Journal noted that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress this year that Luckey's departure had nothing to do with his political beliefs.

According to the Journal, Luckey was first put on leave and later fired. In the fall of 2016, Zuckerberg pressured Luckey to voice support publicly for Gary Johnson, the libertarian nominee in that year's election, the Journal reported, citing internal emails and sources familiar with the conversations.

"Zuckerberg lied to Congress" could become a bipartisan statement.

Palmer Luckey.

Also at NBC.

Previously: Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Oculus Co-Founder Pitches Virtual Border Wall

Related: Oculus VR Founder Palmer Luckey on the Need for "Unlimited Graphics Horsepower"
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Palmer Luckey Donates to CrossVR Patreon
Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Leaves Facebook

Original Submission

Oculus to Begin Requiring Facebook Accounts to Use VR Headsets 40 comments

Mandatory Socialization: Facebook Accounts To be Required for Oculus Headsets

Signaling the end to any remaining degrees of separation between Facebook and its VR headset division, Oculus, today the social media company announced that it will be further integrating the two services. Coming this fall, the company will begin sunsetting stand-alone Oculus accounts as part of an effort to transition the entire Oculus ecosystem over to Facebook. This will start in October, when all new Oculus accounts and devices will have to sign up for a Facebook account, while support for existing stand-alone accounts will be retired entirely at the start of 2023.

Previously: Facebook to Buy Rift Maker Oculus VR for $2bn
Facebook/Oculus Ordered to pay $500 Million to ZeniMax
Founder of Oculus VR, Palmer Luckey, Departs Facebook
Facebook Announces Oculus Go for $200
Facebook's Zuckerberg Wants to Get One Billion People in VR
Facebook Launches Oculus Go, a $200 Standalone VR Headset
Oculus Co-Founder Says there is No Market for VR Gaming
John Carmack Steps Down at Oculus to Pursue AI Passion Project
Facebook is Developing its Own OS to Reduce Dependence on Android

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @02:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @02:35PM (#461980)

    I am happy that Facebook was given the finger. We all want to do the same. Facebook is not there for communication or uploading photos. We had friends before MySpace arrived and will still have friends long after Facebook is gone.

    The code that Facebook originally ran on was also stolen, so its no surprise that Facebook stole a bit more.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @02:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @02:48PM (#461984)

      The fine doesn't apply to Facebook, as Facebook wasn't found liable to the infringement. (Source: TFA)

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @04:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @04:29PM (#462006)
        Oculus has to pay damages to ZeniMax, and Facebook owns Oculus. (source for both: TFA)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03 2017, @01:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03 2017, @01:20AM (#462199)
        A wholly-owned subsidiary of Facebook has been found liable for the infringement and has to pay the fine. If I take blood from your arm, am I taking blood only from your arm, but from you? If that same arm pushes a knife that kills someone, can you say that only your arm committed the crime?
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @05:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @05:08PM (#462013)

      Honestly, what do you expect from a thieving jew? He robbed his partners who started the business with him. And he continues to steal like every other entitled jew.

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @09:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02 2017, @09:59PM (#462137)

        Why are you dragging Bill Gates into this?