Another Facebook Lawsuit

Hours after reports of last week’s 9th Circuit decision rejecting Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’s lawsuit against Facebook came news of another legal challenge to Mark Zuckerberg’s stake in the social network site. The suit had been under the radar–it earned little credibility when it was filed last summer–but last week an amended federal court complaint put Paul Ceglia’s claim in a new light.  This story from the New York Times reports that Ceglia claims to have entered a programming-services contract with Zuckerberg a year before Facebook was formed that gives Ceglia 50% ownership in the company.  At first I yawned over this suit as just one more delusional claim following a wildly successful book/movie/company (“Harry Potter was my idea!  I wrote the first draft of Rent!”).  Ceglia’s legal problems, including fraud charges brought by the N.Y. attorney general, supported my conclusion that this suit must be without merit.  Then I saw the firm representing Ceglia.  It’s not, as I expected, some solo practitioner desperately seeking headline but DLA Piper, one of the bluest of blue-chip international corporate law firms.  Firms like DLA Piper do not typically take cases like this without scrutiny (or without a deep client pocket, which I doubt Ceglia possesses.

So, who knows what to make of it.  Is this suit mere bug splatter on Facebook’s windshield or does Ceglia’s paper trail actually prove his claims?

One Reply to “Another Facebook Lawsuit”

  1. Lana Sharuk

    This sounds like a really interesting case to follow. I wonder why it took Ceglia so long to bring this case to court though. It does seem like he is only filing it because of how popular facebook is but it has been around for so long, he could have filed this lawsuit years ago. I also wonder what kind of contract he claims he has. I have a feeling however, that Zucherberg was not always as careful as he is now with his financial obligations and contracts. So Ceglia could have something.

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