The twins who claimed Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook have lost their latest bid for an appeal to overturn an earlier multimillion dollar settlement.
In 2008 identical twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss accepted a deal with Mr Zuckerberg worth £12.2 million and a partial ownership of the company.
But they returned to the courts earlier this year and argued that the social networking site had been incorrectly valued, meaning that their stock was not worth as much.
The Olympic rowers lost an appeal at the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals last month, and yesterday a federal appeals court ruled that the case could not be assigned to a special appeals panel for reconsideration.
They could still appeal to the Supreme Court and are said to be planning separate legal action against Facebook and its lawyers over instant messages they claim were concealed during the 2008 case.
Facebook said it was "pleased with the court's decision" but the brothers declined to comment.
The Winklevosses' take on the origin of Facebook formed part of the story for last year's Academy Award-winning biopic of Mr Zuckerberg, The Social Network.