The owners of a rival social networking website are trying to shut down Facebook, claiming the founder stole their ideas while they were students at Harvard.
The three founders of ConnectU are suing Mark Zuckerberg for fraud, copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. The action asks the court to shut Facebook and give control of the company and its assets to ConnectU's founders. Facebook has responded by asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. A hearing is being held in Boston.
Facebook started in 2004, a few months before ConnectU went online, and now has 31 million users, compared with about 70,000 users for ConnectU, based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Last year, Facebook turned down a £500 million buyout offer from Yahoo.