The court case between the founder of Facebook and his former comrades has been postponed. The three-year-long clash concerns whether Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole code and ideas from fellow students when working on rival social networking site ConnectU . At the time, all were studying at Harvard University.

During the hearing in Boston, US District Judge Douglas Woodlock clearly indicated that he believes the legal process is basically intended to extract a cash settlement from Facebook. "The purpose of this litigation is not to resolve a dispute but to provide leverage for the purposes of settlement," he said.

Judge Woodlock also said he wanted to see more evidence of an actual agreement between Zuckerberg and his former comrades. "Dorm room chit chat does not make a contract, so I want to see it," said the Judge. As a result, the case has been postponed until 8 August.

A Facebook statement said: "We are pleased with the outcome of the hearing today. We continue to disagree with the allegations that Mark Zuckerberg stole any ideas or code to build Facebook."

ConnectU lawyers

ConnectU's lawyers claim that 23-year-old Zuckerberg stalled the creation of ConnectU, stealing code before then setting up Facebook in February 2004. Lodged soon after, dismissed earlier this year and then immediately refiled, the legal spat has been a complex three-year battle.

In late 2005, the Harvard student newspaper, The Crimson , even became embroiled in the suit. ConnectU co-founder Tyler Winklevoss ordered a subpoena which asked the newspaper to hand over all its correspondence with Zuckerberg.

ConnectU's creators, Divya Narendra, Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss, found out about Facebook when they read about it in The Crimson.

Facebook membership is now more than 32 million.

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