Facebook Finally Settles $250 Million Oculus Lawsuit

ZeniMax Media sued Oculus VR in 2014 for allegedly stealing trade secrets from id Software to create its own virtual reality (VR) platform. That lawsuit continued even after Oculus was acquired by Facebook, the company's founders departed and new Oculus products debuted. That saga has finally concluded. Law360 reported yesterday and ZeniMax confirmed today that it reached a settlement with Facebook for an undisclosed sum that has left both parties satisfied.

The long-running lawsuit has dramatically changed in scope over the years. A jury awarded $500 million to ZeniMax in February 2017, with co-founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe reportedly being responsible for $50 million and $150 million of that sum, respectively. That wasn't the worst possible outcome for Facebook--ZeniMax was seeking up to $4 billion and wanted to block Oculus sales--but it certainly wasn't a win either.

Facebook had better luck in June 2018 when a federal judge reduced the $500 million award down to $250 million. They said blocking Oculus sales would "place an unfair hardship" on the company too, so Facebook was allowed to continue selling its Oculus VR hardware. Facebook would have to pay $54 million to cover a year-and-a-half in interest, however. And both companies said they planned to continue the legal battle regardless.

But now it seems the fight has come to an end. ZeniMax reportedly put out a statement from CEO Robert Altman that read: "We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome. While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties." (We've reached out to ZeniMax for comment and will update this article if we hear back.)

Financial terms of the settlement weren't disclosed. Neither ZeniMax nor Facebook appear to have acknowledged the ceasefire on their websites, including the one for Oculus.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.