Judge rejects Winklevoss boys' Facebook appeal

The Winklevoss boys have had their bid for a bigger slice of Facbook pie thrown out by a US appeals court.

In a case first filed against Facebook in 2004, the twins claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole both the code and the idea for a social networking site from them. They later claimed they were misled about the value of Facebook when they agreed to settle that case for $20 million in cash and shares worth some $45 million or so at the time.

Ruling that the point had been reached at which, "litigation must come to an end," the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said: "The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace."

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss were both played by Armie Hammer in the Facebook flick The Social Network.

The value of the Facebook stock the twins were awarded has since skyrocketed although it remains to be issued. They claim they should have had more in teh first place and that they were hoodwinked by Zuckerberg.

In a statement, Facebook welcomed the ruling. "We appreciate the 9th Circuit's careful consideration of this case and are pleased the court has ruled in Facebook's favor," the firm said.

Lawyers for the Winklevoss want a rehearing en banc so that a panel of 11 appeals court judges can have their say on the matter.