Facebook near settlement of lawsuit: report

A Facebook profile is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/Handout

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook is wrapping up the settlement of a lawsuit brought against it by former Harvard students who claim that the idea for the site was originally theirs, the New York Times reported.

Motions to dismiss the case against Facebook were expected within weeks, the New York Times said on its Web site, quoting a person briefed on the talks.

Facebook was founded in 2004 as a social site for students at Harvard University and spread quickly to other colleges and eventually into workplaces.

But the lawsuit brought by a group of former Harvard students revolves around accusations, strongly denied by Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, that he stole ideas while he was hired by them to write code for a site called Harvard Connection.

A spokeswoman for Facebook was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; additional reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Paul Bolding