In closing statements on Wednesday, the legal team representing ZeniMax pushed for $2 billion in compensation and added another $2 billion in punitive damage. Facebook acquired Oculus VR in March of 2014 for $3 billion.
The case levied against the virtual reality start-up is based on the claim that Oculus and its founder Palmer Luckey stole virtual reality technologies from idSoftware, a subsidiary of ZeniMax. ZeniMax alleges that Oculus’ success was due to these stolen components.
Anthony Sammi, an attorney for ZeniMax, referenced evidence in his closing statement that information had been wiped from Oculus computers minutes before they were imaged for the court case. Sammi also cited emails between former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as evidence of collusion.
Sammi insisted in his statement that the most important software functions on the Oculus rift headsets shipped to early backers on Kickstarter were based on code taken from id Software’s intellectual property. Sammi reported asked the jury, “If they could make it, why’d they take it?”
Facebook and Oculus’ legal team held that the lawsuit was a misguided attempt to “rewrite history”, as ZeniMax had passed on the opportunity to invest in Oculus before Facebook acquired it. In their closing arguments, the team posited that ZeniMax’s claims were “sour grapes” for not recognizing the potential in the offer they had dismissed.
The defense also brought forward an expert witness who did not see any evidence of copied code in the headsets Oculus shipped. The expert also asserted that a majority of the “trade secrets” ZeniMax was attempting to lay claim to were already public knowledge and that other solutions to the problems had already been found.
The jury is expected to come forward with their decision next week. While they continue with their deliberations, Zuckerberg continues to move forward with his VR operations. This week he announced Hugo Barra, previous VP for Android at Google and VP of Xiaomi, will be leading all of Facebook’s VR efforts.