Twins who say Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social network site may be out of legal options after years of litigation.
11, 2011, was a memorable legal day for Facebook and its co-founder and CEO,
Mark Zuckerberg. One lengthy bit of litigation is petering out, while one is
just starting up.
first lawsuit-so long-term in nature (eight years) that a feature film about it
has come and gone-ground to a halt when a federal court of appeals panel of
three judges ruled that twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss cannot
renege on a $65 million settlement they made with Zuckerberg in 2008 and
litigate for more money.
Winklevosses have been contending legally for years that Zuckerberg stole the
idea for Facebook from them. The Academy Award-winning film "The Social
Network" dramatized the story of the case.
Winklevosses, Harvard University classmates of Zuckerberg, had asked the court
in January to revisit a $65 million legal settlement they signed with
Zuckerberg in 2008. The brothers contend that Zuckerberg stole their idea after
he was hired by them to program their social networking site, called ConnectU,
the settlement, the Winklevosses received $20 million in cash and $45 million
worth of stock valued at $36 per share in the deal.
the time of the 2008 settlement, Facebook made no admittance that Zuckerberg
had stolen the twins' idea in agreeing to end the litigation. In fact,
Zuckerberg has consistently maintained that Facebook was his creation.
three-judge panel said in its ruling April 11 that it saw no reason to reopen
their case against Facebook, the privately held-and world's largest-social
networking company that has been valued at about $55 billion.
Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to
gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the
marketplace," the three Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judges wrote.
"At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been
the Winklevosses and their lawyers didn't understand the ruling. Jerome Falk, a
lawyer representing the Winklevosses, released a statement after the hearing
saying that his legal team will file for a rehearing within two weeks.
my judgment, the opinion raises extremely significant questions of federal law
that merit review by the entire Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals," Falk said
in a statement.
Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz