Facebook is facing some pretty serious challenges to both its origin story and corporate legitmacy thanks to a lawsuit from a former affiliate of Mark Zuckerberg who claims he is entitled to 50 percent of the company. In a legal filing that state's Facebook's official position on the matter, the social network makes clear that it plans to fight the case guns ablazing. The statement, printed in full below, offers choice words for Paul Ceglia, the man who says he owns half of Facebook.

“This lawsuit is a brazen and outrageous fraud on the court,” Facebook wrote in its response. “Plaintiff is an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders. His latest and most far-reaching fraud is the amended complaint filed in this action, which is based upon a doctored contract and fabricated evidence. Plaintiff alleges that he recently ‘discovered’ a purported contract that now supposedly entitles him to ownership of 50 percent of Zuckerberg’s interest in Facebook. The purported contract was signed in 2003, yet plaintiff waited until 2010 to file this action — a seven-year delay during which plaintiff remained utterly silent while Facebook grew into one of the world’s best-known companies. Plaintiff has now come out of the woodwork seeking billions in damages.”

Get ready for The Social Network Part II.

[Bits Blog]