The founders of ConnectU, who also claim to be the founders of Facebook, are now complaining about a settlement they reached with the social network earlier this year, Bloomberg reports. And they say there’s new “smoking gun” evidence that bolsters their original beef.
The problem: The Winklevoss twins don’t have the evidence themselves — they claim it’s sitting on Facebook’s hard drives. Confused? Read on:
Founders of ConnectU [say] Zuckerberg took their business idea in 2003 while they were students at Harvard University. ConnectU’s lawyers said yesterday that the company wants out of the deal, citing what they called new “smoking-gun” evidence allegedly found by a forensic expert on Facebook’s computers.
“If we are forced into a settlement, the next step is going to be a fraud claim,” ConnectU’s attorney, John Hornick, told U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock at a hearing Tuesday in Boston. ConnectU said the new evidence stems from electronic instant messages found on Facebook’s computers…
The instant messages were discovered by forensic expert Jeff Parmet, hired by ConnectU to scan Facebook’s hard drives following a September court order for new discovery, ConnectU’s lawyers said. Parmet was prohibited from discussing with ConnectU anything he found that wasn’t computer code.
“Parmet had, nevertheless, obliquely given ConnectU’s attorneys reason to believe that there were documents, other than produced program code, on the Facebook hard drives relevant to the case which had not been disclosed,” Woodlock said in an order Tuesday.
So what’s in those IM’s? We asked Hornick, who’s representing the brothers Winklevoss. His response: “We don’t have them. The courts have them, Facebook has them, but ConnectU doesn’t have them.” Then he hung up.