Web Designer Claims Ownership Of Facebook

Facebook is facing a lawsuit filed by a new York web designer claiming to own an 84 per cent share in the company, the Wall Street Journal has reported today.

Paul D. Ceglia has filed a lawsuit in the Allegany County Supreme court, New York, on 30 June, claiming that, according to a contract he signed with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2003, he is entitled to an 84 per cent share in the social networking website and monetary damages.

According to the lawsuit, Ceglia was contracted by Zuckerberg to design a site, which became the original facebook.com, for a $1000 (£665) fee, a 50 per cent stake in the company and "an additional 1 per cent interest in the business, per day, until the website was completed."

Allegany Court Judge Thomas Brown has blocked the transfer of any Facebook assets until it responds to the lawsuit.

Facebook has described the lawsuit as "frivolous" and wants Judge Thomas Brown to remove the block on the transfer of Facebook assets as it does not believe the case will stand up in court.

In a statement, Facebook said: "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."