According to Forbes Russia, F5 Networks’ attorneys voiced the company’s position in the California court in the case “Cyprus offshore Lynwood Investment v. Nginx and its investors F5 Networks and Runa Capital and EVenture funds”.
F5 Networks believes that this lawsuit should be dismissed by the court, as all claims in it are groundless and the document itself has been drafted with “fatal flaws”.
Earlier, in early June 2020, an offshore Lynwood Investment court demanded that the U.S. court either recognize Lynwood Investment as the legal owner of Nginx Plus or reimburse at least $750 million in damages.
F5 Networks’ attorneys explained that:
- When Sysoev left Rambler in 2011 to fully devote himself to working on Nginx and establishing his own company, Rambler did not file any charges against Sysoev, there was not even a hint of theft of his developments and there were no claims that Nginx belonged to Rambler;
- Rambler also had no questions during the next eight years, during which Sysoev and his colleagues were able to develop Nginx to a successful company;
- Rambler had long been aware of Sysoev’s developments, for example, when in 2004 Sysoev, while still an employee of Rambler, put the source code of Nginx in the open access, the company as a reward increased his salary and even paid a bonus;
- Rambler and Lynwood became interested in Nginx only after the sale of F5 Networks, which was held on market conditions and in compliance with all legal norms;
- The Lynwood lawsuit has some inconsistencies, including after the statute of limitations has expired. The alleged wrongdoing occurred 10 years ago and Rambler assigned its rights to Lynwood in the Nginx relationship five years ago;
- In Russia, the criminal case against Nginx was terminated for lack of corpus delicti, which confirms that Sysoev did not steal anything from Rambler, and Nginx was originally an open source program that was developed by Sysoev in his free time in Rambler.
The court response is expected in early September.
The dates of the major milestones in the suit of Lynwood Investments against Nginx and F5 Networks.
Now the founder of Nginx continues to work in his Moscow office, but the majority of the company’s employees are located in its San Francisco headquarters. After searches in Russia, F5 Networks has taken all necessary measures to protect them. The company is confident in its correctness and intends to maintain its presence in the Russian IT market.
In Russia, a criminal case against Nginx was initiated on December 4, 2019. On December 12, 2019, the Moscow office of Nginx was searched and the addresses of the founder of Nginx Igor Sysoev and co-founder Maxim Konovalov were also searched. The full chronicle of the December confrontation between Rambler and Nginx was published at Habr.