Shortly after Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2014, ZeniMax sued Facebook for $2 billion over alleged copyright infringement, on Oculus Rift headsets. The initial trial saw the jury award ZeniMax around $500 million in damages. However, a new judge in Dallas, has cut that in half to $250 million. This judge – Judge Ed Kinkeade – also rejected ZeniMax's attempt to get sales of the Oculus Rift headset banned in the US. This means that Facebook won on two different occasions here. Not only reducing the amount it owes ZeniMax but also keeping its Oculus Rift headset on sale.
ZeniMax sued Facebook due to the fact that one of its employees, John Carmack had left the company with two other entrepreneurs and took some of ZeniMax's intellectual property with them for their new startup – which was Oculus. This does sound quite similar to what happened with Waymo and Otto (before it was bought by Uber). So this isn't the first time something like this has happened, and likely won't be the last. Judge Kinkeade did agree with the jury's finding back in February of 2017, which awarded ZeniMax $200 million for breach of contract and $50 million for copyright infringement. But Judge Kinkeade decided to throw out the $250 million for damages against Oculus co-founders, Brendan Iribe and Palmer Luckey.
This is a big win for Facebook, especially after paying so much for Oculus a few years ago. With Oculus, Facebook's co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg was betting big and early on virtual reality. And despite this patent infringement case here, it seems that Zuckerberg did indeed bet big enough on VR and early enough as well. Seeing as just about every company is looking to get into the VR space in one way or another. Oculus is one of the bigger names in virtual reality right now, even though Vive has sold more headsets, Oculus is more widely available – partly due to the partnership it has with Samsung for the Gear VR.