Mark Zuckerberg wins latest Winklevoss twins Facebook claim
The case made famous by David Fincher's Oscar-winning movie The Social Network has come to a close... again.
A court has ruled that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss must accept a cash and stock settlement with Facebook valued $65 million, as previously agreed upon, even though they argued that Mark Zuckerberg and his lawyers hid information with them during original talks.
They claimed that they never saw an internal Facebook valuation that assessed that the club was worth more than they knew, and that they should, therefore, have been given more shares. However, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski has stated that the twins are more than capable negotiators, and were supported by a team of lawyers, hinting that they could have found out this information at the time.
Kozinski also wrote: "At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached."
The Winklevoss brothers' lawyer Jerome Falk Jr. states, though, that they are to seek a rehearing before a larger group of 9th Circuit judges. If that fails, as it is rare that they will overturn such cases, the last option will be to present before the US Supreme Court.
They are not the only parties willing to continue with their Facebook litigation claims. Convicted felon Paul Ceglia claims he owns 50 per cent of the social networking site.
He sued Zuckerberg last July, claiming that he has a signed two-page contract that states that the Facebook owner legally gave him half of the company in return for $1,000 of investment.
The contract covers two projects that the two worked on together; "StreetFax" and Zuckerberg's own project called "the face book."
However, Zuckerberg's lawyers dismissed the contract, claiming that while the "StreetFax" part was genuine, all mentions of "the face book" were fabricated. And the fact that Ceglia's prior criminal conviction was for fraud, in addition to the fact that he waited seven years to file his claim, suggested that they were right.
That, it seemed, was the end of that...
Ceglia, though, has refiled his claim with some new evidence. And, if genuine, it's damning stuff.
He has presented a series of emails, he claims were sent to and from Zuckerberg July 2003 to July 2004, the year "the face book" started.
In them, there are several key points discussed between him and Zuckerberg. Among other salient subjects, they talk about the original $1,000 funding, with proof of payment. they talk about the Winklevoss twins ("Upperclassmen", as Zuckerberg calls them) and how Zuckerberg is "stalling" their similar project. And, they talk about delays to "the face book" project.
The Business Insider spoke to Facebook directly about these emails, and the company confidently responded by stating that Ceglia is "scam artist" and a "convicted felon". It states that the new emails, like the latter part of the contract, are fake.
It wouldn't elaborate, but said that it is "confident in [its] assessment."
Ceglia's new lawfirm, DLA Piper, though, has revealed that it undertook weeks of due diligence to confirm (including electronic testing) that the contract and emails are genuine.
This is definitely one to watch.
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