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Contract law: Winklevoss twins fail to re-open Facebook case

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, whose story was immortalised in the recent film The Social Network, have again attempted to re-open their contract law case against Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, but their appeal has been rejected.

In 2008, the Winklevoss twins were paid an out-of-court settlement of $65million, following their accusation of Zuckerberg for breaking their oral contract. They alleged that Zuckerberg had stolen their idea for a social networking website and had illegally used source code that was meant to be used in the Winklevoss's own site.

Despite Zuckerberg's continued denial that he stole the idea of Facebook, in order to put a stop to "rancorous litigation" the twins were given compensation of $20million cash and $45million of stock valued at $36 a share.

But now they claim they should have been given considerably more money. They believe that Facebook misrepresented the value of the shares.

The Winklevosses asked for a panel of 11 judges to review the previous decision. In April, just three appeal judges sat on the panel. They decided to prevent a new case opening and to let the previous judgement stand.

The appeal judges said, "The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace."

"At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached."

The twins' lawyer, Jerome Folk, has stated that they will now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Related links:
Read more on this story (BBC)
Learn about protecting your intellectual property (FindLaw)
Find local contract solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)