No industrional espionage, merely a breached NDA
The Dallas, Texas jury decided that Oculus owes ZeniMax $500 million based on violation of a non-disclosure agreement, and added that misappropriation of trade secrets did not occur, as ZeniMax initially contended.
Following the court decision Oculus has issued the following statement in regarding the verdict:
"The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax's trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favour. We're obviously disappointed by a few other aspects of today's verdict, but we are undeterred. Oculus products are built with Oculus technology. Our commitment to the long-term success of VR remains the same, and the entire team will continue the work they've done since day one - developing VR technology that will transform the way people interact and communicate. We look forward to filing our appeal and eventually putting this litigation behind us."
Sounds pretty much like a victory dance, and a similar tune is coming from the ZeniMax side of the case:
"We are pleased that the jury in our case in the U.S. District Court in Dallas has awarded ZeniMax $500,000,000 for Defendants' unlawful infringement of our copyrights and trademarks, and for the violation of our non-disclosure agreement with Oculus pursuant to which we shared breakthrough VR technology that we had developed and that we exclusively own. In addition, the jury upheld our complaint regarding the theft by John Carmack of RAGE source code and thousands of electronic files on a USB storage device which contained ZeniMax VR technology. While we regret we had to litigate in order to vindicate our rights, it was necessary to take a stand against companies that engage in illegal activity in their desire to get control of new, valuable technology."
In any case, a costly legal battle with some sort of perceived victory for both sides. ZeniMax initially sued for 4 billion in damages. For a more detailed rundown have a look at our previous of the case.