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Facebook Lawyer `Unsure' Whether Founder Mark Zuckerberg Signed Contract

• Bob Van Voris via Bloomberg
A lawyer for Facebook Inc. said she was “unsure” whether company founder Mark Zuckerberg signed a contract that purportedly entitles a New York man to 84 percent of the world’s biggest social-networking service.

Paul Ceglia sued Facebook and Zuckerberg in state court June 30, claiming that an April 2003 contract entitles him to ownership of most of the closely held company. Ceglia’s lawyer produced a copy of the document for U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara today at a hearing in federal court in Buffalo, New York.

“Whether he signed this piece of paper, we’re unsure at this moment,” Facebook lawyer Lisa Simpson told Arcara.

Palo Alto, California-based Facebook, which hasn’t claimed the alleged contract with Ceglia is a phony, has “serious questions” about its authenticity, Simpson said.

The case is the latest challenge to the origins of Facebook, which is worth $24.6 billion, according to SharesPost.com, a marketplace for closely held firms. Facebook’s paternity was questioned in a suit by a group of Zuckerberg’s former Harvard University schoolmates, who claimed he used code developed on their ConnectU project to start Facebook. They settled in 2008.

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