Remember the scandal surrounding Nginx the company that owns one of the world's largest web servers? (Almost 500 million users). Not so long ago one of the biggest Russian IT companies Rambler Group claimed ownership on Nginx and accused the startup founders in stealing. The Moscow office of Nginx was searched, then a criminal case was opened. The start of the proceedings had a vast coverage in Russian media, but no resolution has been concluded untill recent turn of events.
Now civil proceedings have been initiated against the founders of Nginx Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov, as well as their partners. Here's what we know about the lawsuit in California:
The plaintiff is Lynwood (a company connected to a Russian businessman and investor Alexander Mamut), to which Rambler's claim against Nginx was transferred in April. The defendant is F5 Networks, an American company that had previously purchased Nginx and venture foundations Runa Capital and EVentures who provided seed funding. The founders of F5 Networks are Maxim Konovalov, Igor Sysoev and other former Rambler employees.
What is Lynwood's wants in the U.S. court? To be recognized as the rightful owner of the Nginx Plus and all related rights or receive at least $750 million in compensation for subscriber misconduct. Lynwood's claims do not apply to a freeware part of the software. Lynwood received documented testimony from witnesses who were directly involved in the assignment of Nginx and related rights from Rambler.
Lynwood has been conducting its own investigation for more than a year, which has resulted in extensive evidence that former Rambler employees, together with third parties, arranged for the embezzlement of Nginx and related rights (followed by successful monetization).
In December 2019 there were no signs that Rambler Group or any other companies related to Alexander Mamut have any chance to win the case due to lack of evidence and society's pressure against this criminal case. But now when the new unexpected circumstances has occurred we might see a different ending to this dramatic and movie like story.
Manufactured in Russia // Made in Russia
Author: Lela Abu-Nawas