Return of the Winklevii

By Robyn Hagan Cain on July 26, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What will it take for the dynamic duo of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss to curl up with their $65 million Facebook settlement and leave the judicial system alone? More than an admonishment from Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski that the time for the litigation to end "has now been reached."

The Winklevii are at it again, this time challenging Facebook in the United States District Court in Boston. Their claim? Facebook "intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence" during settlement talks, including communications from the time of Facebook's founding. The outcome? Denied. Again.

The "suppressed evidence" in question is a collection of instant messages Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg allegedly sent to a friend saying that he was holding off on making Harvard Connect, (the original incarnation of the Winklevosses' ConnectU), until after the launch of Facebook. The Winklevosses and fellow ConnectU founder Divya Narendra said they would not have settled if they had known about the messages reports The Washington Post.

The ConnectU guys have maintained for years that Zuckerberg used and abused his relationship with their company to steal their idea and create Facebook. U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock dismissed ConnectU's suit on Friday, accepting Facebook's argument that the Winklevosses' substantive claims had already been rejected by the courts.

The Winklevosses decided in June that they would not appeal their Ninth Circuit case to the Supreme Court, instead dedicating their efforts to their claim in Boston that Facebook had not played fair in litigation. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Winklevosses' 2008 settlement with Facebook bars the claims.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals will now get its turn in the spotlight as the Winklevosses continue to beat a $65 million dead horse.

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