Judge gives ConnectU founders two weeks to revise Facebook complaint

Citing a lack of factual basis for claims Facebook founder stole code and business plan, Massachusetts court sends ConnectU filing back for revisions.

BOSTON--A federal judge in a Massachusetts district court gave the founders of college-based social networking site ConnectU two weeks to revise the complaint that they have filed against Facebook, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and four other early employees of the fast-growing social network. The ConnectU founders, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and their fellow 2004 Harvard graduating classmate Divya Narendra, have accused Zuckerberg and his company of stealing their code and business plan when Zuckerberg was casually employed as a programmer for ConnectU in the 2003-2004 academic year.

Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, during the case's dismissal hearing on Wednesday afternoon, requested that the plaintiffs revise their complaint and refile it by August 8, after which point Facebook has an additional two weeks to file for a dismissal. The reason, the judge said, was that there simply was not a factual basis to the majority of the ten claims listed by ConnectU in its original complaint.

"You're really going to have to do this with particularity," Woodlock said to ConnectU's counsel, "because this is a most evanescent of explanations."

UPDATE: Facebook has released an official statement on the matter to the press: "We are pleased with the outcome of the hearing today. We continue to disagree with the allegations that Mark Zuckerberg stole any ideas or code to build Facebook. We intend to honor the judge's request not to comment further in the media and will continue to vigorously defend this case in court."

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)
CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014