Winklevoss twins must accept £40m Facebook settlement
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have been told they cannot back out of a settlement with giant social networking firm Facebook over claims its founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea, a US appeals court has ruled.
The saga of the fall-out between the Winklevoss twins and Mr Zuckerberg was one of the main plot-lines of the Oscar-winning film The Social Network last year.
That film told the story of Facebook's origins to the agreement of a settlement.
However, it was not the end of the dispute.
The Winklevoss twins, along with Divya Narendra, started a company called ConnectU while at Harvard.
They say that Zuckerberg stole their idea, an allegation Facebook denies.
The three agreed to receive a settlement of about 40 million, which included a cash payment and some shares in Facebook.
But they have since argued that, based on an internal valuation that Facebook did not disclose, they should have received more Facebook shares as part of the deal.
A lower court had granted Facebook's request to enforce the settlement, and on Monday the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with that judgment.
"At some point, litigation must come to an end," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote.
"That point has now been reached."
The court said the twins were savvy enough to realise what they were agreeing to when the settlement was reached.
Attorneys for the Winklevoss twins did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Facebook deputy general counsel Colin Stretch said the company appreciated the court's careful consideration of the case, and was "pleased" it ruled in their favour.
The case, which has been held in the 9th Circuit court, is The Facebook Inc v ConnectU Inc.
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