Winklevoss twins lose another court battle in Facebook lawsuit

The long running legal case of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss against Facebook took another turn this week as the twin brothers lost yet another fight in court. Reuters reports that the Winklevoss twins, along with their business partner Divya Narendra, got their current case against the social networking web site dismissed by a judge.

The twins and Narendra have claimed that Facebook had "intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence" during their settlement talks with Facebook. However, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock disagreed, deciding that Facebook's arguments that the trio's "substantive claims had already been rejected by the courts." The Winklevoss's lawyers called the judge's decision "expected". Facebook declined to comment.

The lengthy court fight between the Winklevoss twins and Facebook started just after Mark Zuckerberg and others launched the first version of Facebook at Harvard University in 2004. The twins, along with Narendra, claimed that Zuckerberg said he would help them build a social networking site. The conflict between the twins and Zuckerberg was loosely depicted in the 2010 movie The Social Network where actor Armie Hammer played both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The brothers and Narendra eventually decided to launch a lawsuit against Zuckerberg and Facebook and the trio eventually accepted a $65 million settlement deal in 2008. Earlier this year the trio announced they would abandon an appeal of that settlement to the US Supreme Court. It's currently unknown if the trio will attempt to launch yet another legal battle against Facebook, but for now, it seems this battle is over.

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18 Comments

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If your own lawyers say a decision was "expected" then you either have some real bad lawyers, or simply a public defender.

WiCkeD SaM said,

And how old are you?

It is a funny name. Rip Van Winklevoss. They slept on their own idea when they shared it with a theif, and didn't check on him closely enough.

And pleas elet me be very blunt as to what I say next. Some people in this world have a bad habit of trusting people just because they share the same ethnic background. Yet there have been reports time after time about ideas being stolen and more from the people of your ethic background.

What the Winklevoss' should have done was create a leagl doceument of what they discussed and what work Zucker was suppose to do for them. That way at least they would have had significant proof.

Facebooks real value was hidden and the fact he stole there idea an added to his own is wrong. Patentd or not. What I will say is this. They deserve compensation based on the fact Zuncker used his own ideas and theirs. $65M is a lot, but also a slap on the wrist based on what they likely could have been worth. And look what Facebook is worth now.

I would say they at leats deserve $300M easily. But I would be happy to settle for 1/2 that and then buy as many shares of Facebook as possible.

zikalify said,
Thought they had given up on this vendetta? And they need better lawyers

How about Jose Baez ? He is the only devil that can turn right to wrong and vice versa.

SpyCatcher said,
$65 million is nothing compared to what Zuckerberg stole from the group.

bull****, having an idea doesn't give you the right to it. I thought up a search engine when I was looking for something, now I can sue google and get billions of dollars.

De.Bug said,

bull****, having an idea doesn't give you the right to it. I thought up a search engine when I was looking for something, now I can sue google and get billions of dollars.


You didnt ask Google for help and Google didnt then steal the idea and create a better website from your idea.

TheLegendOfMart said,

You didnt ask Google for help and Google didnt then steal the idea and create a better website from your idea.

The right to an idea is called a patent. The Winklevoss twins don't have a patent on the "idea" in question. This is why the $65 settlement was made in private. If it had gone to the courts, they would have got nothing, as there is nothing to protect. Sure, a good bunch of layers could argue that Zuckerburg was an employee of the Winklevoss twins, however any judgement in court would be in the order of a few thousand dollars, not millions.

Bottom line is that if you read the cases properly, you will see that the twins aren't sueing for stealing an idea (Because they don't have a protected idea). They sue for things that are related to the private settlement (In this case, they believe that facebook witheld info)

Ideas aren't like copyright, where they are automatically protected. My goodness, if ideas were automatically protected, that basically automatic patents....

Well, they were actively working on it prior to hiring him so that is a bit more than just 'having the idea'. Secondly, even if you go by the Edison 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration - 65mill isn't close to 1% of what Facebook is worth, even back then.

65 million settlement deal? pay for my education, health/dental insurance and sports programs to keep me active. Thats all I ask for.

WelshBluebird said,
You got $65 million! Stop being so greedy!

It's a pretty big settlement, but compared to Zuck's wealth, it's like tossing someone a penny when they are scrounging for beer money. More patronising than an olive branch.

All that aside though, they're still a pair of slimeballs looking for money because they thought of an idea, but didn't have the smarts to turn it into a reality. They're just butthurt.

WelshBluebird said,
You got $65 million! Stop being so greedy!

The twins come from a very wealthy family, I'm sure $65 million isn't much to them nor is it much to Zuckerberg. It's probably about getting more money or trying to find a way to get back at Zuck.