Ninth Circuit To Winklevoss Twins: “Man Up”

If you’re like me, when you saw The Social Network:

you were probably rooting against the Winklevoss twins. For my money, they just reminded me too much of Greg Marmalard and Doug Niedermeyer from “Animal House.” Looks like the Ninth Circuit agrees with us. For those of you who have not seen the movie, the twins attended Harvard at the same time as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. After Zuckerberg shut down Harvard’s servers with a “who’s hotter” survey featuring photos of Harvard co-eds (which Zuckerberg acquired by hacking into the data bases of various houses) the twins attempted to enlist Zuckerberg to help them out with an idea they had that was similar to what ultimately became Facebook. When Facebook exploded, the twins sued for a piece of the action. The case settled, and the twins got a stake in Facebook as part of the deal. Facebook’s value has been estimated to be about $50 billion. Apparently, however, it wasn’t good enough, and the twins tried later tried to get the settlement set aside, claiming that Zuckerberg did not disclose the true value of Facebook during the mediation process that led to the settlement. The court was unimpressed. It noted “The Winklevosses are sophisticated parties … [t]hey engaged in discovery, which gave them access to a good deal of information about their opponents. They brought half-a-dozen lawyers to the mediation.” And it ultimately held: “The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who them seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace. . . . At some point litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached.” Ouch. I bet Judge Kozinski, who wrote the opinion, also is not a big fan of Messers Marmalard or Niedermeyer.