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Jury orders Facebook to pay US$500m in Oculus tech theft case
[WASHINGTON] A US jury Wednesday ordered Facebook and creators of its Oculus Rift to pay US$500 million to gaming software firm ZeniMax in a lawsuit that claimed the virtual reality technology was stolen.
The Texas jury made the award in a trial in which Oculus was accused of basing its Rift headset on technology stolen from ZeniMax's virtual reality software, court documents showed.
The lawsuit claimed Oculus founder Palmer Luckey developed the virtual reality gear using source code illegally obtained from the gaming firm.
ZeniMax said it was "pleased" about the award for "unlawful infringement of our copyrights and trademarks, and for the violation of our non-disclosure agreement with Oculus pursuant to which we shared breakthrough VR technology that we had developed and that we exclusively own."
Robert Altman, ZeniMax's chairman and chief executive, said in the statement: "Technology is the foundation of our business and we consider the theft of our intellectual property to be a serious matter."
Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 for more than US$2 billion and last year began selling the Rift headsets as part of the social network's push into virtual reality.