Bloomberg News

Winklevoss Suit Against Facebook, Zuckerberg Thrown Out

July 22, 2011

(Adds California litigation in sixth paragraph.)

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- A federal judge in Boston dismissed suits by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who claim that Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for the world’s most popular social-networking site.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock today ordered two consolidated suits dismissed, after a federal appeals court refused in April to reopen a $65 million settlement of a 2004 lawsuit the Winklevosses, who are twin brothers, and Divya Narendra filed against Facebook and Zuckerberg.

The three, who attended Harvard University with Zuckerberg, were seeking in the Boston suit to force Facebook to turn over information, including instant messages they said may have been improperly withheld in the litigation.

Tyler Meade, who represents the Winklevosses and Narendra, said in an e-mail today they expected the court would enter a judgment in the case. Meade said he plans a post-judgment motion to try to pursue additional evidence from Facebook.

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes declined to comment on the ruling.

The Winklevosses were unsuccessful in trying to persuade a federal court in California to revoke the 2008 settlement, claiming that Palo Alto, California-based Facebook didn’t disclose an accurate valuation of its shares before they agreed to the cash and stock deal. The appeals court ruled that the accord barred future lawsuits and was “quite favorable” to them. Last month the twins and Narendra decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The three had sought to reopen their original claim against Facebook in Boston federal court, based on published reports suggesting the company may have withheld evidence it was required to turn over in the case.

The case is ConnectU v. Facebook, 07-10593, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

--With assistance from Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco. Editors: Peter Blumberg, Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in Manhattan federal court at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net


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