And the claim IS almost certainly ridiculous. But let’s give it a moment of consideration.
Ceglia claims he and Mark Zuckerberg entered into a contract on April 28, 2003 in which Ceglia agreed to provide some web development work in exchange for 50% of the resulting entity, plus an additional 1% every day until the work was completed. He now says this means he owns 84% of Facebook. Ceglia has apparently produced a copy of the contract, which is 2 pages long.
Could this claim possibly have any merit?
Outside of the statute of limitations issue, which may put an end to the claim before any facts are considered, it seems unlikely that there’s any claim here.
As SAI reported earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg did not procure the domain name for Facebook’s first site, thefacebook.com, until January 2004. Mark did not create the predecessor site, Facemash, which got him dragged in front of Harvard’s disciplinary committee, until the late fall of 2003. So it seems unlikely that whatever work Mark might have contracted Paul Ceglia to perform was related to Facemash or Facebook or any predecessor entity.
The state judge in the case, Thomas Brown, has issued a restraining order preventing Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg from selling or transferring any assets. Facebook has filed to have the case transfered to Federal court and have the restraining order removed.
One element that does appear to be different in this case versus the prior Facebook ownership cases (namely the claim that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for the company from some fellow Harvard students) is the existence of a contract. The judge in the prior case dismissed the plaintiff’s claims as “dorm-room chitchat.” In this case, it appears there is actually a piece of paper that has something written on it.
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