ZeniMax Wants Another $500 Million From Oculus, Or 20% Of Rift Sales for 10 Years

The two combatants are back in court over another facet of the case involving John Carmack's move to Oculus.


The bad blood between ZeniMax and Oculus continues after the hotly contested trial over broken NDAs that resulted in a $500 million award for ZeniMax. Oculus has already filed for a new trial, but the two parties were back in court with ZeniMax asking for even more money again.

ZeniMax is seeking another $500 million (via ArsTechnica) because of the "ongoing harm" and an injunction to halt all Rift sales until the "stolen technology" is removed. If the court doesn't see fit to award that, then ZeniMax is seeking a 10-year deal for 20% of the revenue generated by the sale of Rift headsets. "The jury verdict clearly establishes that Oculus wrongly obtained ZeniMax VR technology under the NDA and used it... to establish a business that would not have existed without ZeniMax," the filing states.

Oculus, on the other hand, refuted the claims, saying that ZeniMax has not demonstrated ongoing harm, and that an injunction would be a disservice to the public, especially if Oculus had to rewrite the code at issue in the case. Oculus said that the lateness of ZeniMax's filing means that Oculus would need to go through even more testing, rewriting and preparation than it would if ZeniMax had filed its claim at the time the original NDA breach occurred.

Even with the new filing, Oculus still is maintaining that the original jury verdict is flawed and should be thrown out.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Southern District of Texas, who is hearing the case, has asked ZeniMax for more information on the offending code that supposedly exists in the Rift headsets. He also encouraged the two sides to somehow reach a settlement, as he is not inclined to "split the baby," inferring that one side will not be happy with whatever he may end up ruling. That ruling could come any day, as the judge said that he wants to "resolve the heck out of [this] big, hairy fight" as soon as possible.

It is doubtful that a settlement will be reached as the two sides in this ugly divorce have too much riding on custody of the baby that is the Oculus Rift. It will probably take a Judge Kinkeade ruling to get both sides to get both sides to move on, although it sounds like only one side could be vindicated by the result.

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From The Chatty
    • reply
      June 22, 2017 10:54 AM

      Zenimax is gonna get bitten in the ass at some point if they keep this up right?

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      June 22, 2017 10:56 AM

      someone should have kept carmack happy and bought out oculus before facebook did!

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        June 22, 2017 11:28 AM

        To be honest, I don't think Carmack realized what was going to happen when he left for Occulus. He's brilliant, no doubt about that, but his time at id was pretty much his entire professional career. Selling to Bethesda I bet he didn't even think about the ownership consequences that would have on what he wanted to do with code developed afterwards while an employee, instead of an owner of a private company. If he had I'm sure that would've been written into the sales contract given his extra-curricular activities. Most companies don't have that issue at the top (even if they do, they likely worked for other companies before getting there) when being bought out, their owners aren't coding anything anymore or will be retiring (often, at a minimum, retiring from the industry) instead of moving to another, similar position at another firm after the sale. Carmack was in the odd and enviable position of loving what he did at a company he owned. I do wonder whether he has other thoughts about this kind of thing at Facebook now.

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          June 22, 2017 10:32 PM


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            June 22, 2017 10:41 PM

            You mean autobiography?

            There already is one titled "Masters of Doom" and it's an incredible book. I listened to the Audiobook and it was narrated by Wil Wheaton. It was a great story and I want to listen to it again. It covered both Johns, Carmack and Romero. It's amazing how much interconnected game developers were back then too. Also the bit about Diakatana was quite an insight. Hearing the book drop names of some great games and their development was a great dive into nostalgia.

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          June 24, 2017 10:16 AM

          He wanted the best of both worlds and there's no way this was just a mistake.

          All the money from id software sale plus joining a new company with tech he developed on his previous position.

          That was just not possible.

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      June 22, 2017 11:09 AM

      Oculus is all "rewriting all our stolen code is hard"

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      June 22, 2017 11:42 AM

      Article should read "Zenimax are total fucking pieces of shit, how our legal system is broken".

      • rms legacy 10 years legacy 20 years mercury super mega
        June 22, 2017 11:54 AM

        No wonder Ubisoft is scared as heck about a takeover

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      June 22, 2017 11:49 AM


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      June 22, 2017 9:55 PM

      I blame Trump's brother

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