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Chang v. Winklevoss Mem. of Decision, Mass. Sup. Ct. April 11, 2011

Chang v. Winklevoss Mem. of Decision, Mass. Sup. Ct. April 11, 2011

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Published by: gesmer on May 12, 2011
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05/12/2011

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SUFFO
LK,
SS.
..
71Aaft
COMMONWEALTHOF
MA¥SACHUSETTS--SUPERIOR
COURT
CIVILACTIONNO.09-5397-BLSIWAYNE
CHANG
and
THE
I2HUB
ORGANIZATION,INC.
v.
CAMERONWINKLEVOSS,TYLERWINKLEVOSS,DIVYANARENDA,
HOWARD
WINKLEVOSS,
CONNECTU,
INC.,(f/k/a
CONNECTU
LLC),
StOTT
R.
MOSKO
and
FINNEGAN,
HENDERSON,
FARABOW,GARRETT
&
DUNNERMEMORANDUMOFDECISIONANDORDERON
(1)
MOTIONOF
DEFENDANTSCAMERONWINKLEVOSS,TYLERWINKLEVOSS,DIVYANARENDA,
HOWARD
WINKLEVOSS,
ANDCONNECTU,
INC.
TO
DISMISS
FOR
lACK
OF
SUBJECT
MATTERJURISDICTIONAND
FAILURE
TO
STATEACLAIM
OR,
ALTERNATIVELY,
FOR
ASTAY
(Paper
#
16);
(2l
MOTION
OF
DEFENDANTS
SCOTT
R.
MOSKO
and
FINNEGAN,
HENDERSON,
FARABOW,
GARRETT-&DUNNER
TO
DISMISSFOR
WANT
OFSUBIECTMATTER
JURISDICTION-
AND
FORFAILURE
TO
STATEACLAIM
(Paper
#
21);
and
(3)
MOTION
OFDEFENDANT
SCOTT
R.
MOSKO
TO
DISMISS
FORLACKOFPERSONAL
JURISDICTION(Paper
#
20)
Thisactionarisesfrom_afailedbusinessrelationshipbetweenplaintiffWayne
Chang
("Chang")
ana
defendantsCameronii1dTylerWinkIevOss(the
'..
,
.
-
- ~ -
...
.
_.
.
--
.-
...
--
.
..
-
-_.
--
"Winklevosses"),HowardWinkIevoss,andDivyaNarenda,foundersandlorofficers,directors,andlorshareholders
of
defendantConnectU,Inc.,f!k/aConnectU,
LLC.
(collectively,the"WinkIevossdefendants"unlessotherwiseindicated).DefendantsScott
R.
Mosko("Mosko")andFinnegan,Henderson,Farabow,Garrett
&
Dunnei'C'Finnegan")<faen-dedCfiiingfn--aCalifornialawsuit.Nowbeforethecourtarethe
 
Winldevossdefendants'luotiontodisnlissthepresentaction
for
lack
of
subjectlnatterjurisdictionandfailuretostatea
dahn
or,alternatively,
for"
a
stay;Finnegan'sandMosko'sIllotionstodislniss
for
lackofsubject
11latter
jurisdictionandfailuretostateaclainl;andMosko
J
snlotiontodislniss
for
lackofpersonaljurisdiction.Forthereasonssetforthbelow,theWinkIevosses'
11lotion
is
allow.ed
inpartanddeniedinpart;Finnegan'sandMosko'sluotions
is
allowed;andMosko'smotionisdeniedaslnoot.BACI(GROUNDThecourttakes
as
truethefollowingfactssetforthinChang'sconlplaint,
see
.Marshall
v.
Stratus
Pharms.,Inc.,
51Mass.App.Ct.667,670-671(2001),witharecitationofadditionalfacts
as
theypertaintosubjectlnatterjurisdiction.In2003,Changdevelopedapeer-to-peer,
file
sharingcomputersoftwarecalledi2hub,whichquicklybecamepopularamongcollegestudentswhenlaunchedin2004.TheWinklevossesandNarendawerethefoundersofConnectU,asocialnetworkingsitetryingtocompetewithFacebook.TheWinklevossescontactedChanginOctober,
2004,
seekingtoformapartnershipand,tointegrateConnectU
and
i2hub,with
the'
..
goal
of
increasingConnectU'suserbase.
---
....
_.
__
._----
-------
-.
On
October
21,2004,
CameronWinkIevoss("Cameron")sentChanganemail-stating
that
ConnectUandi2hubwouldoperate
as
apartnership.Aseries
of
emaildiscussionsfollowedconcerningtheintegrationoftheentities
and
theownershipof
-2-
 
severalotherinternetbasedoperatingcompanies.AtaNovember13,2004,meeting,Cha-ngandtheWinklevossesagreedthat,
as
compensation
for
hisworkontheintegration,Changwould,uponitscompletion,own
15%
ofConnectU.Theyalsoagreedtoformapartnership,calledtheWinklevossChangGroup("WCG")tojointlypromotetheintegratedConneetUandi2hubprogram,as
well
as
todevelop
other
internetbasedconcepts.Changasserts
that
Cameron,insubsequentinstantmessages,confirmedthisarrangement.
On
November
23,3004,
CameronemailedChangaMemorandumofUnderstanding("Memorandum")whichstated,inpertinentpart:"Uponcompletionoftheintegration,CU[ConnectU]
will
give
Wayne
Changtheoption
to
exercisea15%stakeinCU."Changacceptedtheseterms
on
November
24,2004.
Duringthenextseveralmonths,according
to
thecomplaint,Changandi2hubworkedtocompletetheintegration.Inaddition,ChangandtheWinklevossesbeganoperatingasWCG,holdingthemselves
out
as
partnersinthedevelopmentofConnectU,i2hub,andotherinternetproperties.Changcontributedi2hub'ssoftware,network,
uSers
and
allother
-assets;--the
WinklevossdefendantscontributedConnectU,theConnedU.comwebsiteandallotherassets.Changclaimshewas
-
-
.-,
-
.
--
-----
--
-
directlyinvolved
in
themanagementandoperationofConnectUaspartofWCG,
and
that
thepartiesagreed
that
heheMa50%interestinWCG.
Mter
theintegration,revenuepreviouslygeneratedbyi2hubwasredirectedtoConnectU.
..

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