Facebook fighting claim on 84% of the company
Facebook has moved to overturn a judge’s recent order temporarily blocking any transfer of the company’s assets as the social network responds to a lawsuit by a New Yorker claiming to own 84% of the company.
In a civil lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of New York’s Allegany County last month, Paul Ceglia said he signed a contract with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 to develop and design a website.
The terms of the contract entitled Ceglia to a $1,000 (£666) fee and a 50% stake in the product, which eventually was launched as TheFacebook.com, according to the lawsuit.
The contract also stipulated that Ceglia “would acquire an additional 1% interest in the business, per day, until the website was completed,” and the suit said that by 4 February 2004, Ceglia’s stake in Facebook was 84%.
Facebook called the suit completely frivolous. The company said the case has been moved to federal court, where Facebook has asked that Allegany Court Judge Thomas Brown’s recent order restricting the transfer of Facebook assets be struck down.
“The order will not affect our ability to do business, but we do not believe it is legally supported and we have moved to have it vacated,” said Facebook’s Barry Schnitt.
Ceglia’s suit contends the contract with Zuckerberg was dated April 2003. Some of the previous accounts of Facebook’s history have said that Zuckerberg was at work on other projects during that period and did not come up with the idea for Facebook until later.
The internet domain name for “TheFacebook.com” was registered in January 2004, according to Network Solutions online registry of domain names.