Facebook to settle the ConnectU case

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Brad Stone over at the NYT reports today that Facebook is intending to settle the suit brought against it by ConnectU and that an agreement could be reached within a matter of weeks.

ConnectU, founded by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss along with Harvard classmate Divya Narendra, originally filed suit against Facebook in 2004, claiming that Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow Facebook co-founders (also Harvard classmates) essentially stole the idea and initial code from ConnectU, then called HarvardConnection, and instead launched their own site, at the time called TheFacebook.

However, the suit was eventually dismissed on a technicality, and nothing much more came of it. Over the next two years, the ConnectU team apparently discontinued working on their product, while Facebook grew like gangbusters

ConnectU then resuscitated the case last year, and Facebook counter-sued in response. Now that Facebook is apparently going to settle the case, one wonders if it has ever contained any merit, or if it is merely an untimely thorn in Facebook’s side that the company is willing to pay to make go away before future financial events. Either way, the lawyers are getting paid.