Judge dismisses Winklevoss case against Facebook


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A federal judge has dismissed Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ latest attempt to pursue claims that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for the world’s most popular social networking site.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston dismissed the case on Friday. The Winklevosses abandoned an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court last month. Instead the Winklevoss twins and their business partner Divya Narendra asked Woodlock for permission to investigate whether Facebook had suppressed instant messages and other evidence during settlement talks.


The Winklevosses’ attorney Tyler Meade said Friday that he expected the ruling and would be submitting a post-judgment motion relying on a federal rule that allows judges to reopen a case if vital information was not produced. So this may not yet end the seven-year legal feud that was featured in the hit movie ‘The Social Network.’

The Winklevosses could not be reached for comment. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes declined to comment.

In June, the Winklevosses abandoned an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. They had wanted the nation’s highest court to review the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the $65-million cash-and-stock settlement they reached in 2008 with Facebook.

Instead they said they would focus on claims in federal court in Boston that Facebook and its lawyers hid instant messages from them during litigation.

The Winklevosses have been trying for years to undo the settlement, alleging that Facebook duped them about the value of the shares they received. They persisted in their efforts even as the value of the settlement soared to more than $200 million along with the valuation of Facebook, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies.



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-- Jessica Guynn