Facebook fight: Judge nixes Winklevoss case

A US judge has blocked the latest courtroom campaign by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to undo a deal they made to settle a squabble over who came up with the idea for Facebook.

US District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston granted a request by Facebook that the case there be dismissed. The judge's terse written order did not outline the reasoning behind his decision.

The twin brothers and fellow ConnectU founder Divya Narendra last month ramped up litigation in Massachusetts accusing Facebook of duping them in a deal they made in a lawsuit charging that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea.

Lawyers for the Winklevosses tried to renew the languishing civil case in Boston after similarly-themed litigation failed in California and they opted not to appeal it to the Supreme Court.

"These are old and baseless allegations that have been considered and rejected previously by the courts," Facebook attorney Neel Chatterjee said when the litigation in Boston was revived.

The Winklevoss lawyers were expected to ask that the Boston case be reopened on the basis of a rule allowing that to happen if key information has been withheld.

The twins have argued that Facebook held back information about the California-based social networking firm while reaching a $65 million settlement with the brothers.

The twins inked a settlement two years ago that got them $20 million in cash and $45 million worth of stock valued at US$36 per share.

The value of that yet-to-be-issued stock has skyrocketed along with Facebook's estimated market value.

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in May rejected a bid by the identical twin brothers to have a full panel of 11 judges second guess a ruling made by a three-justice panel.

The three-judge panel said that litigation in the case "must come to an end" and threw out the bid by the Winklevosses to review the settlement.

- AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 21 Dec 2014 07:57:49 Processing Time: 18ms