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Winklevoss Twins Back in Court Against Facebook

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were back in court on Thursday, a day after their lawyers had submitted to a court in California that they would not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court their US$65 million settlement with Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

In a status report before the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the Winklevoss twins and Harvard classmate Divya Narendra said they will move the court for discovery on the issue "whether the Facebook Defendants intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence", and then move for appropriate relief from the court.

The twins and Narendra had founded a company called ConnectU while they were students at Harvard. ConnectU is one of the plaintiffs in the Massachusetts action.

Facebook's outside counsel, Neel Chatterjee, said in an e-mail that the allegations were old and baseless and "have been considered and rejected previously by the courts".

The twins and Divya Narendra on Wednesday said in a filing through their lawyers to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that "after careful consideration" they would not appeal to the Supreme Court.

The U.S. federal appeals court had denied in April a request by the Winklevoss twins to release them from their 2008 settlement with Facebook over their allegations that Zuckerberg had improperly appropriated their idea for the social networking site.

The twins, who claimed that they, and not Zuckerberg, came up with the idea for Facebook, settled in 2008 in a cash-and-stock deal. They subsequently tried to undo the settlement, saying they were misled by Facebook about the value of the company's shares they received as part of the deal.

The Winklevoss twins are aiming to get access to instant messages that Zuckerberg allegedly sent while at Harvard, and may throw a new light on their relationship, according to media reports on Thursday.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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