Facebook Wins Another Legal Round Against the Winklevoss Twins
Posted by computeraddicted on July 23, 2011
In the latest chapter in the Winklevoss twins vs. Facebook saga, a U.S. district judge has dismissed a second lawsuit by the two, who sought to increase their $65 million settlement with the company and founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Judge Douglas Woodlock dismissed the case Friday, a month after Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and business partner Divya Narendra abandoned a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
After that appeal, on June 22, the two and Narendra asked Woodlock for permission to investigate whether Facebook had surpressed evidence during their settlement talks.
As dramatized in the hit 2010 film The Social Network, the Winklevosses and Narendra allege that Zuckerberg stole their idea — or at least part of it — to create Facebook, which has been valued as high as $100 billion. The twins opposed the 2008 settlement shortly after they agreed to it, arguing that Facebook hid information that revealed the true value of their stock. At the time, they said they were led to believe the 1.2 million shares they received in the settlement were worth almost $36 each, when they were actually worth $8.80 each. In December 2010, though, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals ruled that the settlement would stand. In May, the three decided to take the case to the Supreme Court.
It’s unclear how the Winklevoss twins will proceed with their case at this point.
To add to the their humiliation, Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard University, was quoted at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference calling the two “a**holes.” Said Summers: “One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o’clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they’re looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.”
True to form, the WInklevosses and Narendra rebutted Summers’ remarks with an open letter to current Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust.
“It was not his failure to shake hands with the three of us upon entering his office (doing so would have required him to take his feet off his desk and stand up from his chair), nor his tenor that was most alarming, but rather his scorn for genuine discourse on deeper ethical questions, Harvard’s Honor Code and its applicability or lack thereof,” the letter says. ”It’s deeply disturbing that a professor of this university openly admits to making character judgments of his students based on their appearance.”
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