Andrew David Bamforth, the co-founder of Faceparty, a British site that enjoyed a brief heyday in the early 2000s, claims he was mentally incapacitated for 12 years, including in 2008 when he signed a trademark rights agreement that Mark Zuckerberg’s company relied on to build the world’s biggest social network.
This court had been dragged into court last year where Bamforth claimed that due to his illness he had been duped by the Facebook attorney by making him think that he had no other choice but to accept the terms. He also claims the 2008 transaction was faulty because CIS Internet Ltd., the operator of Faceparty, had transferred the trademark rights a few months earlier to a different business owned by Bamforth called Anarchy Towers Ltd.
The allegations didn’t get a particularly warm reception from U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in Oakland when the hearing was held out on a Thursday.
Ryu suggested that Bamforth was “talking from both sides of his mouth,” saying on one hand that he was mentally unfit to conduct business from 2006 to 2018 but also basing his lawsuit on a 2008 deal between CIS and Anarchy. “Those two things seem fundamentally at odds: I’m so incapacitated I can’t do business versus I did business with myself such that they didn’t get anything,” Ryu said.
When Bamforth asked the judge for a chance to redraft his complaint to address her concerns, Ryu said she’s not sure it can be salvaged.
“If I look at this and think that there’s something that could be fixed, I’m going to give you a chance to fix it, I have to, by law,” she said. “But if it’s really futile, it’s futile and that will be the end of it.”