Facebook Facing Another ConnectU Challenge

    June 6, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Although the two sides signed a settlement of ConnectU’s suit against Facebook, ConnectU claims new evidence merits an end to that agreement.

When ConnectU’s founders, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, brought Mark Zuckerberg on to code their site at Harvard, they didn’t expect Zuckerberg to emerge from the project with a rival site. Claims by ConnectU of infringement by Zuckerberg appeared to end in February when they agreed to a settlement.

However, Bloomberg said ConnectU’s computer forensic investigator recently discovered new evidence in the form of old instant messages that allegedly back the claim against Facebook.

ConnectU now wants out of the settlement, as their lawyer claimed enforcement of those terms will lead to a new case and accusations of fraud against Facebook. The presiding judge failed to be impressed by this latest revelation.

“The parties chose to do what they did based on imperfect knowledge of what the outcome of the case might be,” Bloomberg cited U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock as saying. “You knew at the time you entered into the agreement it wasn’t complete.”

There appears to be some question as to whether or not ConnectU’s investigator should have brought the instant messages to the company’s attention. He reportedly was not allowed to disclose anything other than code he reviewed on Facebook’s computers.

Silicon Alley Insider prodded the attorney for ConnectU on the contents of the instant messages discovered in the investigation. Lawyer John Hornick said ConnectU didn’t have the IMs in question.

They probably should have tried to reach D. Michael Underhill instead of Hornick. CNET said ConnectU hired Underhill to represent them in the still-ongoing dispute with Facebook.