Facebook and other defendants have been ordered to pay $500m (£395m) after it was ruled they unlawfully used a firm’s virtual reality technology.

The social network purchased Oculus in 2014, which used a computer code designed by game developer Zenimax in its Rift VR headsets.

Following a three week trial at the US District Court in Dallas, Oculus said it was ‘disappointed’ by the result and vowed to appeal against the ruling.

Zenimax  will be awarded damages from Facebook, Oculus and Oculus executives.

OculusRift

Chief executive Robert Altman said: "We are pleased that the jury in our case in the US District Court in Dallas has awarded Zenimax $500m for defendants' unlawful infringement of our copyrights and trademarks.”

It was ruled none of the defendants misappropriated Zenimax's trade secrets, but Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey was found to have broken a non-disclosure agreement.

Shortly after the ruling, Facebook released its latest results, showing a strong end to last year, doubling profit to $3.6bn in the fourth quarter.

Advertising revenue grew by 53 per cent.