Court Lifts Restraining Order On Facebook's Assets

Recently, a judge in New York slapped a restraining order on Facebook’s ability to transfer company assets after a web designer sued the site, claiming he is entitled to an 84% share of the company. But yesterday, the social networking giant got a bit of relief when a different judge reversed the earlier order.

In the suit, the plaintiff claims he was hired in 2003 to develop and design the site that ultimately became Facebook, and that the contract he signed at the time entitles him to a very large piece of the pie.

According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Facebook’s legal eagles won’t admit that the site’s founder Mark Zuckerberg even signed the contract.

Says the lawyer:

The judge asked the question of the defense and they said they were looking into it… I suspect that, if their client did not sign it, they would have made that clear.

Facebook has taken issue with the fact that the plaintiff apparently “sat on his allowed rights for over six years.” The company’s lawyers say the plaintiff should not be permitted “to say that now, all of a sudden, he requires immediate relief.”

The company also says the “purported contract itself is wrought with irregularities, inconsistencies and undefined terms.”

While the suit moves forward, Facebook is happy to at least have the financial prohibitions lifted:

We are pleased that the court’s decision to stay the temporary restraining order remains in place and will continue to fight this frivolous claim.

Facebook unrestrained amid NY ownership lawsuit [Reuters]