ZeniMax has asked a judge to ban Oculus from using their code in virtual reality headsets.
Earlier in February, a court awarded ZeniMax a combined $500 million from the Facebook-owned Oculus and other defendants in a case that alleged a breach of non-disclosure agreements and even outright theft. Oculus spokesperson Tera Randallcalled the verdict “legally flawed and factually unwarranted,” and has stated that the company is continuing to appeal the decision.
Now, ZeniMax seeks to cripple the Oculus Rift with a potential block to code vital to both the hardware and many of the games that employ it. In its verdict, the court did agree that ZeniMax code was infringed upon, though it stopped short of saying that trade secrets had been stolen.
If the code is deemed unusable, it will be a major blow to both the Oculus Rift and the developers supporting it. The Facebook subsidiary is already suffering from a critical lack of consumer interest, prompting the closure of hundreds of its demo stations across the United States.
Irvine-based IP lawyer Mark Romeo says that this decision could put an “incredible amount of pressure on Facebook to enter into some sort of settlement” with ZeniMax. EIP lawyer Matt Jones was even more explicit:
It could be a very big deal. If they are granted the injunction, it will stop Oculus from using the code. It could get around that by writing new code but that would be time-consuming and expensive.
Will this push Facebook towards a settlement? Quite possibly, as often injunctions hurt businesses more than damage settlements.
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