Some time back in 2014, Facebook purchased the Oculus company best known for,”Rift,” a virtual reality headset device with which many Louisiana residents might be familiar. A problem arose regarding the product that included allegations against Oculus (and therefore, also against Facebook) regarding deceptive trade practices. Another company, ZeniMax, was the one making the accusations, saying Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey, stole technology codes and other information after leaving ZeniMax to work for Oculus.
ZeniMax says the information was used by Luckey and others to develop software to create the Rift headsets. Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg told the court he knew nothing of the dispute between the two companies. The court, however, has ruled that Facebook must pay $500 million in damages to ZeniMax because of the intellectual property dispute.
Facebook representative Sheryl Sandberg says the tech mogul is considering filing an appeal. She said she and other Facebook execs are rather disappointed with various aspects of the jury’s verdict. Luckey continues to assert that he developed Rift through his own creative gifts and knowledge and not by using technology codes or any other information to which he may have had access in his time of employment at ZeniMax.
Deceptive trade practices have the potential to cause severe economic injury to companies. Losses may sometimes be recovered through litigation. In Louisiana or any other state, a concerned business owner may wish to discuss a particular incident with a business and commercial law attorney to determine whether evidence of a tort exists.
Source: NBC, “Facebook to Pay $500 Million Over Virtual Reality Lawsuit“, Michelle Castillo, Feb. 1, 2017