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ZeniMax and Facebook’s Oculus VR lawsuit comes to an end

ZeniMax might have settled its legal conflict with Doom co-creator John Carmack in October, but its battle with Oculus has raged on since. Fortunately, the feud with the Facebook-owned company has finally come to an end as ZeniMax and Oculus settle out of court.

Way back in 2014, ZeniMax opened a lawsuit against Oculus on the grounds that Palmer Luckey’s first generation Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was based upon technology developed by former employee John Carmack. At the time, Carmack had spent just a year as Oculus’ CTO after leaving ZeniMax, lending credit to the claims.

Courts found credibility in ZeniMax’s claims, awarding the company $500 million. Since the judgement, both companies have been embroiled in a vicious game of ping pong when it comes to appeals, one of which managed to net Oculus a win in halving the fine to $250 million.

A joint motion from ZeniMax and Oculus has seen a federal judge grant the companies right to dismiss subsequent appeals, after an agreement had been reached through the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals mediation program. Details of the settlement remain under wraps and while Facebook remained silent on the matter, ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman expressed his relief at the conclusion.

“We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome,” said Altman. “While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties.”

Little has been heard about ZeniMax’s legal proceedings against Samsung, after the South Korean company managed to get itself caught in a similar whirlwind last year. This litigation was based on the fact that Samsung utilised Oculus Home software, however its status is unclear.

KitGuru Says: I can respect ZeniMax protecting its intellectual property, but it is lawsuits like this that often hinder the progression of technology. This is particularly crucial during VR’s infancy. That being said, I’m sure Facebook’s barrage of controversies haven’t exactly helped matters either.

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