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Facebook Lawsuit Didn’t Have ‘Tidy Ending’ Portrayed in Film

Posted Dec 22, 2010 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court hearing next month is the latest saga in a long-running legal battle between Mark Zuckerberg and the twins who claimed the Facebook founder stole their ideas.

The movie The Social Network ends with Zuckerberg settling the lawsuit filed by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss for $65 million in cash and Facebook stock, but the “tidy ending” didn’t tell the whole story, according to PaidContent.org.

The Winklevoss twins claim they were duped into believing the stock was worth more than it actually was, according to the story. They have filed five separate appeals, which have been consolidated into one suit, and battled their one-time law firm over legal fees. The firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Hedges, emerged successful in the $13 million fee arbitration, according to a September story by the New York Law Journal.

The appeals hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11 in San Francisco.

The PaidContent.org article sees all the litigation as “remarkable” since the idea of an online social network wasn’t all that unusual. “Facebook’s success isn’t due to the idea of a social network, but the skillful execution of that idea—combined, of course, with some hard work and some very lucky timing. As [the Zuckerberg character] says in the movie: Does ‘a guy who makes a really good chair owe money to anyone who ever made a chair?’ ”

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