Late last week, the rumor mill was abuzz that the guys behind ConnectU, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, had filed yet another lawsuit against Facebook. But a little digging revealed that the previously sealed court filings did not indicate a new case.
Rather, they are part of Facebook's response to the Winklevosses' appeal of the $65 million settlement they reached with Facebook in 2008. According to CNET News, the twin brothers-who originally argued that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg stole the idea for Facebook from them after they hired him in 2003 to do some coding for what became ConnectU-argued that Facebook was not exactly "open" about the company's valuation when it was negotiating the settlement. Therefore, they say, they are entitled to more than the $65 million in cash and Facebook stock they were given.
CNET's Caroline McCarthy quotes Facebook's response brief, in part, as follows:
Their fraud claim is based on omission: They fault Facebook for not volunteering a more recent-and, they claim, lower-valuation of different Facebook stock. They insist that their sworn enemy had some special duty to open its books and volunteer any information that bears on the value of this closely held company.
In a statement following the brief's release, Facebook said:
There is no new litigation between Facebook and the Winklevosses. ... The filings ... are simply the filings by Facebook and the Winklevosses in the Winklevosses' now two-year-old, thus far unsuccessful, attempt to undo their 2008 agreement to settle the parties' dispute.
The fact that Zuckerberg and the Winklevosses recently appeared on an episode of CBS' "60 Minutes" television show following the debut of the movie loosely based on Facebook's beginnings makes the leak and the continuing dispute between them all that more interesting, according to McCarthy.
I'm going to echo what VentureBeat's Owen Thomas said in May when the Winklevosses first filed this appeal: This case should have been over a long time ago.