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Chang loses appeal of Winklevoss Facebook payout

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron (left) and Tyler.
The Winklevoss twins, Cameron (left) and Tyler.Vincent Tullo/New York Times/File

A Massachusetts appeals court ruled Wednesday that entrepreneur Wayne Chang isn’t entitled to any of the $65 million collected by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss from the social network Facebook. It’s the latest ruling in a case that has lingered in state courts for nearly a decade.

Chang, a native of Taiwan who grew up in Haverhill, dropped out of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2004 to launch i2hub, a social networking company that sought to compete with Facebook. He teamed up with the Winklevoss twins, Harvard University students who had launched another Facebook competitor called ConnectU. Within months, the partners had a falling-out, and Chang shut down i2hub in November 2005.

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Chang would go on to found Crashlytics, a software diagnostics company that he eventually sold to the social network Twitter for $100 million.

Meanwhile, the Winklevosses were pursuing legal action against Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, charging theft of ConnectU’s trade secrets. In 2008, Facebook settled the case by acquiring ConnectU for $65 million in cash and Facebook stock. Chang wasn’t involved in the ConnectU lawsuit, but he argued that as the Winklevosses’ former partner, he was entitled to a share of the settlement.

In 2015, Suffolk Superior Court issued a summary judgment dismissing Chang’s case, and on Wednesday, appeals court judge Jeffrey Kinder agreed. Writing for the court, Kinder said that Chang’s partnership with the Winklevoss twins “was terminated well before the Winklevoss defendants entered into settlement negotiations with Facebook in February of 2008.”

Chang’s attorney was not immediately available for comment.


Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeTechLab.