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Texas judge calls for an end to Oculus and ZeniMax's "big, hairy fight"

Injunction hearing started this week, with Zenimax asking for $500 million additional damages and a 20% cut of Oculus' revenue

ZeniMax Media has asked a South Texas court to remove Oculus hardware and software from sale, or pay it a royalty of 20% of all the VR company's revenue for the next 10 years.

That argument was put forward in a hearing earlier this week, in which ZeniMax and Facebook, which owns Oculus, argued the merits of the injunction proposed in February. ZeniMax said that the injunction should apply to the Rift headset, and any other hardware and software that could be linked to the technology it insists was developed within its walls. If the injunction is denied, ZeniMax wants a 20% cut of Oculus VR's sales for the next decade.

According to court documents obtained by Ars Technica, ZeniMax also requested another $500 million to be added to the $500 million it was awarded in the original trial. It seems that ZeniMax deems $500 million "inadequate remedy for ongoing harm", and quoted Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as saying the amount wasn't, "material to [Facebook's] financials."

Facebook is disputing each of ZeniMax's new claims, on the basis that the NDA breaches that were the basis of the original jury verdict happened years in the past, and therefore don't constitute "continuing harm." In its own documents filed with the court, Facebook also highlighted that, "ZeniMax does not offer any products that compete with Oculus's virtual-reality platforms and headsets."

Law360, which attended the hearing, said that Facebook asked not just for the injunction and the extra damages to be refused, but for the original jury verdict to be thrown out. Facebook's legal team argued that "not one ounce of evidence" existed to prove that Oculus had caused ZeniMax any kind of financial harm.

With the legal battle between ZeniMax and Facebook/Oculus now rumbling into its third year, US District Judge Ed Kinkeade asked the companies to finally settle their differences, for the good of all.

According to Law360, he told ZeniMax to be "more specific" about the parts of Oculus' codebase that infringe on its copyright, and warned of the potentially dire consequences of a firm decision in one direction or the other. Kinkeade stated his preference that Facebook and ZeniMax, "resolve the heck out of [this] big, hairy fight."

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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