Facebook: the Winklevoss brothers lose against Zuckerberg
April 12th, 2011 - 12:45 pm ET by J. G.
The Winklevoss twins have lost their appeal against Mark Zuckerberg in the legal dispute surrounding the Facebook concept.
While students at Harvard, the Winklevoss twins - Cameron and Tyler – along with Divya Narendra developed a social networking site named HarvardConnection (later becoming ConnectU). For the development of this project, they formed a partnership with Mark Zuckerberg (a verbal agreement) for the development of the code, but he instead started working on the side to launch... The Facebook in 2004.
The Winklevoss brothers believe that Mark Zuckerberg stole their social networking idea. The matter entered legal proceedings in 2004, but a court date was never set. A new proceeding was filed in 2008, with an agreement reached for 20 million dollars in cash and 45 million dollars in Facebook stock (36 dollars per share).
A few months after the agreement was signed, Facebook valued their stock at 9 dollars per share (stock-options written at this value for employees). The Winklevoss brothers felt that they had once again been taken for a ride and restarted their war against Facebook.
The initial agreement has now been declared valid on appeal by the US legal system, with the brothers therefore having no possibility of renegotiating the agreement. The three judges sitting in the California court of appeals declared "The 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", reports the AFP. “At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached".
The Winklevoss brothers nevertheless won’t be going home empty handed as Facebook was recently valued at 50 billion dollars.