The founders of the company from which billionaire Mark Zuckerberg allegedly lifted the idea for Facebook have been left with a $13 million legal bill following a string of legal action.
Pulse 2 reports that a New York judge has upheld a payout of $13 million for law firm Quinn Emanuel which represented the company ConnectU in an intellectual property litigation case against Facebook.
ConnectU was founded by twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra and is currently challenging a $65 million settlement made with Facebook in 2008.
According to the founders, Zuckerberg copied the idea behind ConnectU in order to create Facebook when he was a sophomore at Harvard University.
In 2004, ConnectU filed a lawsuit against Facebook and settlement was reached in 2008. However, ConnectU accused Facebook earlier this year of securities fraud and is pushing to get the settlement annulled.
But instead of coughing up its legal fees, ConnectU ended up firing and suing Quinn Emanuel for malpractice, alleging the firm had failed to obtain current Facebook valuations of common stock before negotiating the settlement.
An arbitration panel found, however, that Quinn Emanuel "earned its full contingency fee" on 25 August 2010 and had not committed any malpractice.
"The respondents have waited over two years for its fee, and have had to oppose several attempts to delay the payment," said Judge Richard Lowe of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
"To continue to stall payment of the award would be to frustrate the very purpose of and reason for the arbitration."