In a civil lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of New York’s Allegany County last month, Ceglia vs. Zuckerberg & Facebook, , Paul Ceglia said he signed a contract with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 to develop and design a website called TheFacebook.com (I like the sound of that better).
A New York judge’s recently granted an temporary order blocking any transfer of the company’s assets, based on Paul Cegliaas clain that he owns 84% of Facebook
According to Ceglia he signed a contract with Zuckerberg to develop TheFacebook.com, (Facebook.com owns this domain as well) for a $1,000 fee and a 50% stake in the company.
The lawsuit says 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 February 4, 2004, Ceglia’s stake in Facebook totaled 84%.
Mr. Zuckerberg currently owns a 24% stake in Facebook and is the company’s CEO and president.
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.
Currently there is a fund of $15,000,000 being put together through SharesPost.com to acquire shares of Facebook at $60 a share, which would place the value of the company at $24 Billion. (However there has been shares of the company bought for as high as $70 on Sharespost.com)
If Ceglia suit prevails his share would therefore be worth about $20 Billion, certainly a nice payday for a web developer.