Winklevoss Twins Lose Facebook Appeal

Federal judge rules brothers can’t back out of settlement with Zuckerberg

Last Updated: April 11, 2011 @ 12:05 PM

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the twins who say Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for the social network, lost their appeal in a San Francisco federal court on Monday.

A three–judge panel in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Winklevosses can not back out of the settlement they made with Zuckerberg before Facebook's popularity — and revenues — exploded.

"The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace," the judges said in their ruling. "At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached."

Monday's ruling reinforced a lower court's decision that had granted Facebook’s request to enforce the settlement.

The twins' $65 million settlement ($20 million in cash and $45 million in Facebook stock) — inked in 2008 — inspired 2010's Oscar-nominated "Social Network."

"With the help of a team of lawyers and a financial advisor, [the Winklevosses] made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity," the judges concluded.