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Lawsuit Seeks Share of $65M Facebook Settlement

In 2004, three former Harvard students sued their former classmate, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that he had copied their ideas. The three -- Divya Narendra, Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss -- were owners of the social networking site HarvardConnection, which they later renamed ConnectU. In 2008, the parties reached a settlement. Although the amount of the settlement was supposed to be secret, it slipped out when ConnectU's former law firm put out a marketing brochure trumpeting, "Won $65 million settlement against Facebook."

Now, a Boston software developer wants a slice of that $65 million. Wayne Chang and his company, The i2hub Organization, have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Boston against ConnectU; its founders; its law firm, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner; and Scott R. Mosko, a partner in Finnegan's Palo Alto office.

As reported in The National Law Journal, Chang alleges that he entered into a memorandum of understanding with ConnectU giving him a 15 percent share of the company in exchange for integrating i2hub's peer-to-peer file-sharing software and ConnectU's Web site. He also claims that he and the two Winklevoss brothers formed a partnership to co-own and operate ConnectU.

That partnership, Chang alleges, entitles him to half of ConnectU's $65 million settlement with Facebook. Alternatively, he argues that his MOU entitles him to 15 percent.

Lee Gesmer of Mass Law Blog has posted a copy of Chang's complaint. He calls the continuing legal saga of Facebook and ConnectU "truly astounding" and likens the many lawsuits that have branched out from it to the kudzu vine.

Chang is represented in this latest lawsuit by Alan D. Rose and Alan D. Rose Jr. of the Boston law firm Rose, Chinitz & Rose.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 20, 2010 at 11:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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