As some may know, Facebook has been facing a lawsuit from ConnectU for a while now, and the most recent verdict in the lawsuit has now delayed by the judge, Douglas Woodlock. This is the second incarnation of the lawsuit. The first attempt to sue the company was “dismissed without prejudice due to technicality on March 28, 2007.” However, another attempt is being made.
With the current publicity Facebook is receiving, the lawsuit is bound to become quite the public forum of discussion. In summary, the allegation is that the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has begun the popular social networking site under a cloud of fraud, breach of contract, stealing trade secrets, and so on. An article online gives a good summary of the suit:
ConnectUâ€™s case states it hired Zuckerberg to write code for their social networking site in 2003. ConnectU was struggling for acceptance amongst Harvard students at the time. In January 2004, the lawsuit states Zuckerberg failed to deliver the promised software, instead registering the domain FACEBOOK.COM. The social networking site opened for Harvard students under that name a month later.
As mentioned, the case was thrown out the first time. Again, this time, there is skepticism. According to a Forbes article:
The judge, however, was not satisfied and ordered Hornick to file a fresh plea and specify the facts supporting the allegations.
In that article, the judge goes on to question further and display more skepticism over the case with his comment that “Dorm room chit chat does not make a contract” and by asking “Are they being properly sued here?”
Obviously, there is some question over whether or not the suit is valid. But the suit is a serious one if there is evidence (which appears currently unsatisfactory to the legal system). It is said that, in talking of the suit and settlement, “It asks the federal court to close Facebook, strip it of its assets and force the firm to pay cash for damage to ConnectU.”