Winklevosses Face Developer Lawsuit, Take Facebook to Supreme Court

Lora Bentley

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit told Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss they could not reopen settlement negotiations with Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For a unanimous court, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote:

At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached.

He pointed out that the twins were well aware of what they were doing when they agreed to the settlement in 2008 and that they were sufficiently advised by the "half-a-dozen attorneys" they brought to mediation.


As of last week, the brothers - who had sued Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the idea for a social networking website - have their own lawsuit to worry about. reports a developer who created a peer-to-peer filesharing system with the twins is accusing them of cutting him out of a patent filing. As a result, he wants part of the Facebook settlement, and the Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts is allowing his case to proceed.


Monday, the Winklevosses announced they would be asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case against Zuckerberg and Facebook. But why? I guess if you look strictly at the timing, it could be argued that they want to have more money in case the claims against them are legitimate. But that argument's not going to hold water for long.


By now the brothers have probably spent more in court costs and legal fees than they could recover even if they were allowed to renegotiate their settlement with Zuckerberg. Are they just bored? The situation is somewhat reminiscent of Psystar's claims against Apple. At some point it makes more sense to cut your losses and walk away with dignity rather than continuing to pursue what looks to remain a fruitless endeavor.

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