LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The founder of the internet site Facebook will be in court this week defending an allegation of stealing the idea from three former fellow Harvard students, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Mark Zuckerberg, 23, has been hailed as “the next Steve Jobs”, the innovative creator of Apple, and his social networking site as the next Google. He denies any wrongdoing.
But, according to his three accusers, who went on to launch a similar but significantly less successful site, Mr Zuckerberg allegedly cut them out of their own idea after they recruited him to work on it.
In a lawsuit originally filed three years ago, the trio claim that Mr Zuckerberg stole the idea, source code and the business plan for Facebook in 2003 while working as a programmer for them.
The suit alleges copyright infringement, stealing trade secrets, fraud and breach of contract.
The trio – Cameron Winklevoss, his twin brother Tyler and Divya Narendra – claim they were developing their own social networking site, ConnectU, and asked Mr Zuckerberg to help after hearing about his internet prowess.
They now allege that he deliberately stalled its progress so he could set up Facebook six months ahead – a crucial time advantage, they say, in the breakneck speed of the internet revolution.
Mr Zuckerberg denies any wrongdoing and wants the case dismissed.