Facebook's Oculus ordered to pay $500 million to ZeniMax

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey failed to comply with a non-disclosure agreement.

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Facebook CEO and founderMark Zuckerberg. (CNET/CBS Interactive)

Facebook must pay $500 million to ZeniMax, a Dallas, Texas-based jury ordered on Wednesday.

The jury found that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey failed to comply with a non-disclosure agreement. In 2014, ZeniMax alleged Oculus and Facebook of "misappropriating" trade secrets and copyright infringement.

An Oculus spokesperson told ZDNet:

The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax's trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor. We're obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today's verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they've done since day one - developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate. We look forward to filing our appeal and eventually putting this litigation behind us.

The owner of Id Software, ZeniMax, sought $4 billion in damages. However, the jury said that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets, as contended by ZeniMax, according to Polygon.

So, how is Luckey connected to the case? The entire legal spat stems from former Oculus CTO John Carmack, who Oculus hired in August 2013 -- before he left Id Software in November 2013. Carmack aided Luckey in developing the Rift VR headset while still employed by ZeniMax.

The case included an appearance by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who testified Facebook spent as much as $3 billion on Oculus VR, rather than the $2 billion announced in 2014.

How does Facebook envision you being social in VR?

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