For most of us, the first time we’ve heard of the Winklevosses was in the movie “The Social Network.” The movie gave color to the already colorful Facebook and showed the social networking site’s bright and dark sides. The bright side captured the entrepreneurial spirit of young Harvard geniuses epitomized by its founder and creator, Mark Zuckerberg. The dark side shows the cutthroat nature of business that ends friendships. While most of us enjoy sharing photos, writing down notes and posting different degrees of hilarity on our profile shoutouts, Facebook is a multibillion dollar enterprise marred by legal feuds.
Recently, Zuckerberg lost what he hoped would lead to an end of a litigation filed by the Olympic rowing identical twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, after a court ruling puts on hold related litigation.
The Winklevosses are challenging the US$65 million cash-and-stock settlement that a San Francisco federal appeals court ruled as settlement with Facebook in 2008. The identical twins view the US$65 million settlement as fraudulent because they claim Facebook and Zuckerberg withheld information from them.
Facebook and Zuckerberg bargained for litigation peace with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals hoping to end this litigation and believe it to be moot since there was already a settlement. The 9th Circuit ruled in favor of Facebook and Zuckerberg stating in an April 11 ruling that the settlement was already favorable to the Winklevosses.
However, the twin’s appealed to the US Supreme court and while it continues, all related litigation against Facebook will be put on hold. This means that Facebook and Zuckerberg can’t ask for the dismissal of separate lawsuits with one of them filed in a Boston federal court.
Facebook was created in 2004 in Zuckerberg’s Harvard University dormitory room in nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts. It might go public early in 2012 with a value offering of more than US$100 billion.
It’s no wonder the US$65 million accord is not enough to the Winklevosses.