The ConnectU founders have long argued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg used code commissioned by ConnectU, a rival college-based social network, to create Facebook at Harvard. Now, after agreeing to a settlement with Facebook in February, the ConnectU founders want out of the deal. They say instant messaging files found on Facebook's computers offer new "smoking-gun" evidence to make their case.
U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock called ConnectU's move to ditch the settlement a case of "buyer's remorse" after the company perhaps unwisely agreed to a settlement before all the documents in the case had been turned over. "The parties chose to do what they did based on imperfect knowledge of what the outcome of the case might be," Woodlock said. "You knew at the time you entered into the agreement it wasn't complete." ConnectU lawyer John Hornick said that if ConnectU isn't allowed out of the settlement, "the next step is going to be a fraud claim."