* Cameron, Tyler Winklevoss challenged $65 mln settlement
* Twins allege Mark Zuckerberg stole idea for Facebook
* Twins' "next step" to seek relief from judgment-lawyer
(Adds background, comments, byline)
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, July 22 Facebook Inc won a dismissal
of a second lawsuit by the Olympic rowing twins Cameron and
Tyler Winklevoss seeking to boost their $65 million settlement
with the company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston dismissed
litigation over the accord, three months after a federal
appeals court in San Francisco turned aside a related lawsuit.
The 2008 settlement was intended to resolve claims that
Zuckerberg stole the twins' idea for what became the world's
most popular social networking website.
Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 in his Harvard
University dormitory room. His feud with the Winklevosses, who
competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also attended
Harvard, was dramatized in the 2010 film "The Social Network."
On June 22, the Winklevosses decided not to appeal the
California decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Instead, they and business partner Divya Narendra pursued
the Boston lawsuit, raising a different argument, namely that
Facebook had "intentionally or inadvertently suppressed
evidence" during settlement talks, including communications at
the time of its founding. [ID:nNL3E7HO015]
But in his Friday ruling, Woodlock accepted Facebook's
argument that the Winklevosses' substantive claims had already
been rejected by the courts.
Both lawsuits were brought by ConnectU Inc, a company that
the Winklevosses and Narendra had set up.
"We expected that the court would enter a judgment," said
Michael Schrag, a lawyer for the twins, in an interview. "The
next step is a post-judgment motion under Rule 60(b)," a
federal rule letting courts grant relief from final judgments.
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes declined to comment.
The Palo Alto, California-based company said it has more
than 500 million members, and analysts have said it could be
worth $70 billion or more if it goes public, perhaps in 2012.
In upholding the $65 million settlement [ID:nN11173427],
the San Francisco appeals court called the accord "quite
favorable" for the twins. Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote that
the time for the litigation to end "has now been reached."
The case is ConnectU Inc et al v. Facebook Inc et al, U.S.
District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 07-10593.
(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)