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$500 Million Oculus Verdict Highlights Litigation Risks for Emerging Tech Companies

The decision by a federal jury in Dallas, Texas, to award $500 million to the plaintiffs in a case involving virtual reality (VR) technology – despite the jury’s conclusion that the defendants had not misappropriated any of the plaintiffs’ trade secrets – illustrates the degree to which companies must move with caution when they begin or expand businesses relying on VR or other emerging technologies.

Complaint
The plaintiffs in the case, Zenimax Media Inc. and id Software LLC, sued Oculus VR LLC, owned by Facebook, Inc., which had acquired Oculus in October 2014 for approximately $3 billion. The plaintiffs also sued Oculus’ founder (Palmer Luckey), chief technology officer (John Carmack, who previously worked for Zenimax), and former chief executive officer (Brendan Iribe) individually.

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