Epic Facebook brawl reaches settlement
23 Jun, 2011 20:36
The longest on-going lawsuit plaguing Mark Zuckerberg came to a close today after a one-paragraph court filing from the Facebook founder’s former classmates put the final nail in the coffin of a lengthy lawsuit.
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss had alleged that Zuckerberg got his idea for the social networking site from them while they were all students at Harvard. Now instead of taking their case to the US Supreme Court, the brothers are accepting a settlement offered in 2008.The 2008 deal got Cameron and Tyler a mix of $20 million along with Facebook stock. Three years ago those shares were worth around $45 million, but as the value of the privately-owned company has grown exponentially since then, they are looking at around $150 million in stock today.Even if the case is ending right there, there is no doubt that the Winklevoss twins “like” it.Much of the 2010 flick The Social Network revolved around the battle between the two parties, though this case isn’t the only one that has tackled Zuckerberg. A New York state man recently received representation by DLA Pipe as he insists that he should own 84 percent of Facebook. Attorneys for the website have since disputed his allegations.The Winklevoss twins have been trying to undo the 2008 settlement since it was issued, saying that Facebook left out key information during their negations and thus the brothers did not receive as many shares as they should have. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them, however, insisting that the hefty legal representation on their side was sufficient in getting them through the case.When the settlement was initially reached, US Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote, "They made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity. At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached."The Winkevloss’ lawsuit stems from claims that Zuckerberg lifted Facebook from their own brainchild, ConnectU. They claimed that, after bringing Zuckerberg onboard ConnectU as a programmer, he used their own source code while creating his site.