Mark Zuckerberg’s Lawsuit Against Dustin Moskovitz
In 2003, Harvard computer genius and Harvard University undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), in his first project, creates the now wildly popular social networking site known as Facebook. Six years later, after achieving unparalleled success with the company, he’s one of the youngest self-made billionaires in history, but then he finds out that his unprecedented financial success also leads to personal and business complications when he inadvertently finds himself on the wrong end of two separate lawsuits, one involving a former associate (Alyssa Milano).
The first lawsuit that Zuckerberg found himself on the wrong end of involves the “Zuck lawsuit,” which involves Milano suing him for breach of contract due to the fact that she posted comments about his divorce on his Facebook page. The other lawsuit that he found himself in trouble with involved the case of Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz, who sued him for violating his privacy rights. The judge ruled against both parties, meaning that Facebook will have to give Moskovitz full access to his profile, which means that Facebook can be used by both parties to market their products or to promote their businesses.
This isn’t the only lawsuit that Facebook faces though, as the company will also be involved in a legal battle with venture capitalist Peter Thiel, whom Zuckerberg owns a company called Facebook called Oculus VR. This lawsuit revolves around a contract that Thiel signed when they partnered together and the fact that a substantial portion of their capital is contingent upon the company’s ability to raise a third round of funding.
Zuckerberg has already filed a lawsuit against Thiel regarding this case, claiming that he had no right to sue the man for violating his privacy and then being granted a patent for a device that is yet to be released. Although Thiel didn’t actually make the device Facebook will be using to fight this lawsuit, and it looks like this isn’t going to be the last lawsuit that he’s going to file. In fact, in addition to this lawsuit, a second lawsuit was filed by an employee against Facebook, arguing that the company illegally terminated her due to her attempts to increase employee productivity. Although she had been promoted and had a positive track record at the company before she was fired, she claims that Facebook wasn’t happy with the fact that she was trying to increase its efficiency and therefore forced her to lose her job.
The first lawsuit against Facebook was filed over a year ago, but this second lawsuit is still fresh on Facebook’s timeline. In the first lawsuit, Thiel’s attorney said that she was fired from the company because of her involvement with the Oculus VR startup, but the new lawsuit suggests that there may be more to the story than that.
Zuckerberg’s attorneys will need to prove two things in order to win against Thiel: first, that she was fired illegally and second, that she wasn’t fired due to her efforts on this venture, but rather because she had other things on her mind. If they win either of these two scenarios, she will be able to reclaim her job as the first plaintiff will have to prove that she was not fired because of the Oculus VR startup, while the second plaintiff must prove that she was fired due to her involvement with the litigation that occurred later.
Regardless of who wins in either of these lawsuits, the verdict will likely end up in the company getting the lion’s share of money. However, if the verdict goes the other way and Facebook doesn’t get the money it deserves, the company’s investors will most likely be forced to put a hold on it until the case is settled.