Facebook’s legal cases: As one legal battle over Facebook fades, another moves forward

Just when it looked as though the fuss over Facebook’s early days might be about to die down, the long-running legal soap opera over the rightful ownership of the online social network has sprung another surprise. On April 11th Paul Ceglia — who last year filed a lawsuit claiming entitlement to half of the stake held by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s youthful co-founder — submitted an amended complaint complete with e-mails that he claimed would support his case for a share in the company.Mr Ceglia’s bombshell was dropped on the same day that Facebook’s boss received some better news. A panel of federal appeal-court judges in San Francisco handed down a decision that probably scuppers another legal challenge over his company’s ownership. The judges threw out a petition by two of Mr Zuckerberg’s contemporaries at Harvard University, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss — twins dubbed “the Winklevi” by their fellow students — seeking to scrap a settlement they had reached with Facebook in 2008. In that settlement, reportedly worth $65m, the Winklevosses and Divya Narendra, another former Harvard student, had dropped their claim that Mr Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social-networking service.

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