Trial Court Throws Out $250 Million False Designation Verdict, Refuses to Impose Permanent Injunction Against Wilkinson Stekloff Clients

WASHINGTON – The trial judge in Zenimax Media et al. v. Oculus VR et al. today threw out plaintiffs’ biggest win at trial—a $250 million award for false designation—and granted judgment as a matter of law to Wilkinson Stekloff’s clients on that claim. U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade also denied plaintiffs’ motion to enjoin the use of disputed technology in the Oculus Rift headset, allowing Oculus VR to market and sell its products without restriction.  In addition, the judge granted defendants’ motion for sanctions.  Wilkinson Stekloff represents all defendants in the case, including Oculus VR and its parent company Facebook.

The moves come sixteen months after the jury delivered a mixed verdict, rejecting plaintiffs’ lead claim of trade secret misappropriation, but awarding $500 million on other claims against Oculus VR and two of its executives. Today’s ruling cuts that award in half, and eliminates all damages assessed against the executives. The remaining award represents less than five percent of the $6 billion that plaintiffs sought at trial.

At trial, Wilkinson Stekloff also secured a full defense verdict for Facebook, which became a defendant in the case after acquiring Oculus VR. Wilkinson Stekloff joined the defense four months before the trial, with partners Beth Wilkinson and Kosta Stojilkovic leading the team in the courtroom.

Wilkinson Stekloff tried the case alongside co-counsel from Cooley LLP, and handled post-trial briefing and argument with co-counsel from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.