Zenimax really is going in heavy on Oculus. Fresh after taking the Facebook-owned company to court to the tune of $500 million (admittedly some way short of the $2 billion target), Zenimax is now looking to file an injunction to prevent future sales of Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets.
The original court case saw Zenimax awarded half a billion dollars in damages after it alleged Oculus had used stolen code to create its VR hardware. The jury agreed on this charge, however Zenimax believed the damages awarded weren’t significant enough.
“The jury’s damage award here, however substantial, is an insufficient incentive for Defendants to cease infringing,” said a Zenimax lawyer. “Just minutes after the jury revealed its verdict, Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, publicly stated that the jury’s verdict of a half billion dollars was “not material to [Facebook’s] financials.”
As a result of this, Zenimax has filed an injunction seeking to prevent Oculus from using the stolen code from this point onward. This would in turn halt all sales of Oculus Rift hardware and any associated software which uses the code originally created by Zenimax.
For Oculus this would be a huge blow, yet it would also be a bigger blow for the VR industry at large. VR is still fledgling tech and has yet to really take off. Its most iconic hardware being taken off store shelves could prove hugely detrimental, both to developers creating software for it and to Oculus looking to make ground with market share. No doubt Sony, HTC/Valve and Google are already licking their lips in anticipation.
In response to the injunction, Facebook said in a statement: “ZeniMax’s motion does not change the fact that the verdict was legally flawed and factually unwarranted. We look forward to filing our own motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and, if necessary, filing an appeal that will allow us to put this litigation behind us.”
Just how damaging would it be to the nascent VR industry if the Oculus Rift were to be removed from store shelves? Do you see an eventual uptick in VR sales or is doomed to failure? Let us know what you think!