John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

The Defendant Stands Accused of Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract and Misappropriation of Dumb Luck

Later this month a federal court will hear arguments in a lawsuit that accuses Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of ripping off the code that three of his Harvard classmates hired him to write for their fledgling social-networking site, ConnectU, to launch Facebook. From the suit:

This is a civil action for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, intentional interference with prospective business advantage, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, and fraud arising out of Defendant’s… unauthorized use of Plaintiff’s source code and confidential business plans, and usurpation of business opportunity.”

Surely, it’s that last bit that chafes the plaintiffs in the case the most. Because that “business opportunity” is currently valued at anywhere from $2 billion to $6 billion. No wonder they’re demanding Facebook be shut down and its profits be turned over to them. “This lawsuit goes to the core of the assets that Facebook claims to own,” Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, told Condé Nast Portfolio. “The ConnectU guys are clearly ticked off, and they seem willing to spend a lot of money to pursue this.”