The case in the ConnectU vs. Facebook trial has been delayed by a federal judge in Boston on Wednesday, 26th July 2007. U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock gave ConnectU until August 8th to refine its accusations against Mark Zuckerberg, which include fraud, copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets.
ConnectU, which first sued in 2004, could seek an injunction against Facebook, which has 39 million members.Facebook’s spokesman Matt Hicks said in a statement. “We are very pleased with the outcome. We continue to disagree with the allegations that Mark Zuckerberg stole any ideas or code to build Facebook.”Facebook has requested that the suit be dismissed. In court filings, its attorneys say ConnectU has no evidence for “broad-brush allegations” against Zuckerberg. A ConnectU lawyer said it is not seeking a settlement. According to court papers filed by ConnectU, Zuckerberg agreed to finish computer code for Harvard Connection founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who are brothers, and Divya Narendra, but dragged his feet before launching his own company, Thefacebook.com, in early 2004. Thefacebook.com was a social site for Harvard students. It quickly spread to other U.S. college campuses, attracting hundreds of thousands of members, by the time the lawsuit was first filed in September 2004. A separate suit filed in California in 2005 by Facebook alleges ConnectU hired programmers to hack into Facebook’s site and steal thousands of e-mail addresses.Facebook is drawing intense speculation over whether it may be a takeover target or girding for an initial public stock offering.
Last year, Facebook turned down a $1 billion buyout offer from Yahoo. Facebook has appointed former You Tube CFO as its new CFO on Tuesday, which is an indication that is considering a public stock offering.