Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, stands accused of stealing some of the game publisher’s intellectual property (IP) to help develop its VR headset.
The Maryland-based company is now asking a Dallas jury to rule against Facebook and award $2 billion in compensation and another $2 billion in punitive damages.
The trial concluded on Thursday, with the jury expected to begin deliberation soon.
This is part of a long battle between the two tech giants. Back in 2014, ZeniMax stated that John Carmack, co-founder of ZeniMax-owned developer id Software, took valuable IP with him when he left the company in 2013 to work for Oculus.
It states that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was not a software expert and so Carmack, violating a non-disclosure agreement, brought him ZeniMax’s code from Rage VR and Doom 3 BFG Edition to build the Rift’s software. “It was only through the concerted efforts of Mr. Carmack, using technology developed over many years at, and owned by, ZeniMax, that [Oculus founder] Mr. Luckey was able to transform his garage-based pipe dream into a working reality,” the company claimed. Luckey and Carmack denied these accusations in court.
As a counter-argument, Oculus accused ZeniMax of lacking hard evidence, saying they filed the lawsuit out of anger and embarrassment. “It’s unfortunate, but when there’s this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims,” said Oculus in a statement. “We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent.” It testified that Luckey conceived the idea for the product on his own, which was then developed by company engineers. Forensic experts and early Oculus employees said they didn’t find evidence suggesting code was copied by Carmack.
In addition to Carmack and Luckey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe also provided testimonies.