Mark Zuckerberg's Faceoff with Harvard Grad Trio.. AGAIN..

facebook_logoMark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook once again faces off with Harvard graduates Diyya Narendra and twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss as the three decided to rebuke their agreement for settlement of $65 million back in 2004.

Starting Line

Twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are holders of MBA’s from Oxford and are members of the United States Olympic Rowing Team. They, along with Diyya Narendra are the founders of the ConnectU, a social networking site for Harvard students much similar to Facebook, the social networking site which they are suing now. Diyya Narendra is a businessman, the CEO and co founder of a company called SumZero.

Back in December 2002, the three came up with a plan of connecting the students of Harvard University through a social networking site where they could add other people as friends, send them messages and update information on their profiles to acquaint others to themselves. This networking site was planned to later expand to other schools. In November 2003, after two discontinued work relationships with fellow programmers for further development of ConnectU, then named HarvardConnection, the three decided to pitch their idea to Mark Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg allegedly entered into an oral contract with the three, agreeing to finish the program needed to launch the networking site. Mark Zuckerberg then allegedly stated that he’s busy with work and swamped with the project and so became unreachable until January 2003, when he reported to the three that he was still not able to finish the project but is still working on it. Unbeknownst to the three, Mark Zuckerberg allegedly decided to steal the idea away from them. Mark Zuckerberg was said to register the domain name, where he would launch his own version of the university’s social networking site. On February 2003, Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking site was launched.

The trio learned of the alleged nefarious act through Harvard’s student newspaper and sent Mark Zuckerberg a cease and desist letter 6 days after the launching of They filed a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg but the case was dismissed due to technicalities in September 2007 but was refilled again thereafter. Mark Zuckerberg countered with a lawsuit against the trio because of the social butterfly project, a program that consolidates a user’s Facebook account with his ConnectU account.

Both parties decided to reach settlement agreement with each other on February 2008. Facebook agreed to turn over 1.2 million common shares and pay $20 million in cash.

Where Are They Now?

Harvard graduates Diyya Narendra and twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are once again suing Facebook, alleging that Facebook misrepresented their stock value and causing them to settle for an amount which is 75% less than Facebook had led them to believe and an overall cash-and-stock deal worth 50% less. If the trio wins and the court rules to matching the settlement amount to the difference, the value will total to over $466 million.

Facebook claims that the three are experiencing what is called the “settler’s remorse”.

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