Facebook close to settling lawsuit

The claimants say Zuckerberg stole their ideas for his own site

Facebook is reported to be wrapping up the settlement of a lawsuit brought against it by former Harvard students who claim Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea from them.

The three claimants, brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, alleged that they hired Zuckerberg to write code for their 'Harvard Connection' social networking site, and that he had stolen ideas for his own site while working for them.

The three plaintiffs claimed that Zuckerberg stalled on the project they had employed him to work on and instead used the ideas and devices he was working with to set up his own site, TheFacebook.com

The three plaintiffs have since moved on to found their own social networking site ConnectU, which, much like the original Facebook, is only open to college students and alumni.

Although this legal case looks set to disappear off the radar, it’s not the only source for 'who really invented Facebook?' debate. Another former Harvard classmate of Zuckerberg has also claimed that the Facebook billionaire stole ideas from him.

Aaron Greenspan’s claim was based on his creation of houseSYSTEM – a social networking site for Harvard students that Greenspan claims to have developed in 2003 prior to Zuckerberg's launch of TheFacebook.com.

Last year Greenspan was able to produce email correspondence between himself and Zuckerberg discussing the merits of various site functions. He's even gone so far as to write a book detailing how the Facebook era was born.

For his part, Zuckerberg has refused to comment on the settling of the lawsuit with the ConnectU founders. Although there is no information about the size of any settlement, Facebook has said that motions to dismiss the case should be filed "within weeks".