Facebook founder wins Winklevoss case

By Jennifer Lipman, April 12, 2011
Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg walked out of a San Francisco courtroom victorious on Monday after winning his latest legal battle with the Olympic rowers, identical twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

The twins, who studied at Harvard at the same time as Mr Zuckerberg, were denied the right to challenge an earlier settlement over Facebook's origins.

As depicted on screen in The Social Network last year, the Winklevoss twins claimed that Mr Zuckerberg stole the idea for the social networking site from them.

In 2008 the brothers agreed to settle for £12.2 million and a partial ownership of the company.

They then returned to the courts, claiming that Facebook had been incorrectly valued and so their stock was not worth as much.

However three judges at the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that their "litigation must come to an end" and said they had not been misled but were "sophisticated parties" in the initial case.

A Facebook spokesman praised the ruling, but lawyers for the twins said they were considering attempting a further appeal at the Supreme Court.

Last updated: 11:12am, April 12 2011