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Game company seeks to block Facebook from using virtual reality code

By Jan Wolfe
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Facebook logo is seen at a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F in Paris

Facebook logo is seen at a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F in Paris, France, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) - Video game publisher ZeniMax Media Inc., which earlier this month won a $500 million verdict against Facebook Inc.’s Oculus virtual reality unit for unauthorized copying of computer code, has asked a federal judge to block Oculus from using the code in its products.

ZeniMax made its request in papers filed on Thursday in federal court in Dallas. It was the same court where jurors on Feb. 1 issued the verdict against Oculus and its founders Palmer Luckey and Brendan Iribe.

The injunction could limit the number of games available for sale for Oculus' Rift VR headset. Such a move would be a blow to a product still in its infancy and on which Facebook has made a big bet for the future.

Oculus has already made the disputed code available to companies that develop games, and it is embedded in many of the games available for use on the Rift, as well as Samsung Electronics Co's <005930.KS> Gear VR, a smartphone-compatible device developed through a partnership with Oculus.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Richard Chang and Cynthia Osterman)