(CN) – A federal judge in Boston threw out the Winklevoss twins’ 2004 lawsuit that claimed Mark Zuckerburg stole the idea for Facebook from them, along with valuable designs and source code, while they were students at Harvard University.
Olympic rowers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss claimed Zuckerburg’s ruthlessness cost them their stake in Facebook’s multibillion platform.
The twins said that they tapped Zuckerburg to help them build a social networking site called ConnectU, but Zuckerburg exploited their ideas and founded his own site.
After the Winklevosses sued Zuckerberg in Massachusetts, Zuckerberg subsequently countersued in California, alleging that the Winkelvosses and ConnectU had hacked into Facebook to steal data and customers.
A California federal judge had dismissed the Winkevolsses from the case for lack of jurisdiction and ordered the parties into mediation. Eventually, the Winkelvosses singed a confidential settlement agreement in which they agreed to give up ConnectU in exchange for cash and a piece of Facebook.
Later they sought to revamp that settlement, claiming the $65 million deal underestimated the true value of Facebook stock.
After a federal judge in California threw out that case, and the 9th Circuit affirmed, the Winklevosses announced they would not appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
On July 22, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston followed the California bench’s lead and closed the book on their case.