Late last year we share here on the blog two news about the lawsuit that Rambler made on Nginx in which criminal proceedings were initiated against former Rambler employees who developed Nginx under Part 3 of art. 146 of the Penal Code ("Violation of copyright and related rights").
The indictment was based on the claim that the development of Nginx took place during working hours employee experience by Rambler and on behalf of the leadership of this company.
During the development of nginx, Igor Sysoev worked at Rambler as a system administrator, not as a programmer and he worked on his project as a hobby, and not as indicated by his superiors.
According to Igor Ashmanov, who at the time was one of the Rambler leaders, by hiring Sysoev, specifically agreed to the opportunity to participate in your project. Also, the tasks of the system administrator did not include software development.
Rambler claims the employment contract determined that the employer retains exclusive rights of the developments carried out by the company's employees. The ruling filed by law enforcement officials indicated that nginx is Rambler's intellectual property, which was illegally distributed as a free product, without Rambler's knowledge and as part of criminal intent.
Later after having carried out a raid on Nginx's offices, stop employees and the entire resulting process. Everything this process was strongly criticized in Russia by several senior commanders, including a chief of staff who argues that after 15 years, the statute of limitations has expired to file a copyright infringement complaint.
Until that moment it seemed that every attempt by the Rambler Group for taking over the intellectual rights of Nginx had come to an end, since in addition several directors of Rambler decided to break relations with the Lynwood Investments law firm, withdraw the request to the law enforcement agencies and request the termination of the criminal case against the employees of NGINX.
Y now six months later things come to life As the law firm Lynwood Investments, will no longer attempt to carry out the process in the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation, acting on behalf of the Rambler Group.
But now filed a lawsuit in the United States against F5 Networks with respect to the assertion of the exclusive rights of Nginx. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco in the United States District Court for Northern California.
Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov, as well as investment funds Runa Capital and E.Ventures, are included in the list of co-defendants in the lawsuit. LThe amount of damage is estimated at $ 750 million (By comparison, Nginx was sold to F5 Networks for $ 650 million.) The test affects both the NGINX server and the commercial software NGINX Plus based on it.
F5 Networks considers the plaintiff's claims to be unfounded, including the reference to the decision of the Russian prosecution, which ended the investigation, without finding evidence of guilt from the co-founders of Nginx.
F5 Networks attorneys are convinced that the accusations of the defendants in the US-led trial are equally unfounded.
Interestingly, in April, the Rambler Group announced the termination of the contract with Lynwood Investments and a ban on doing business on behalf of the Rambler Group.
At the same time, Lynwood Investments retained the right to prove losses in the NGINX case and to claim compensation in their own name and for the benefit of their own interests.
The English press release provides further details under which Lynwood and its affiliates owned a substantial portion of Rambler and Rambler transferred ownership of NGINX to Lynwood. The transfer of rights was approved by the Rambler Board of Directors.