Mamut's son framed Herman Gref in Nginx case

The Board of Directors of Rambler Group asked to terminate the criminal case on the rights to Nginx.
The board of directors of the Rambler Group instructed the management to appeal to law enforcement authorities with a request to terminate the criminal case on violation of the rights of the Internet holding to Nginx developments. And if necessary, continue the proceedings on intellectual property rights to Nginx in the civil law field. This is stated in the press release of the Internet holding following the results of an extraordinary meeting of the council.

The management was instructed to terminate the contract with the Cypriot Lynwood Investments CY Ltd., which represents the interests of the Rambler Group in the conflict with Nginx, and ask her to withdraw the statement to the law enforcement authorities, on which the case was initiated. According to the decision of the council, representatives of the Internet holding will also acquaint the founders of Ngnix and representatives of its American owner - F5 Networks with the documents that became the cause of the conflict, and discuss them.

Rambler Group and Sberbank did not know about the case

The report said lawyers at Lynwood Investments CY Ltd. did not inform about the decision to apply to law enforcement bodies neither Rambler Group nor Sberbank. When it was adopted, it is not specified, but Sberbank at that time carried out due diligence, preparing to become a shareholder of the Internet holding. On August 26, Sberbank entered the capital of the Rambler Group, receiving 46.5% of the shares (other shareholders of the Internet holding - A&NN and Era Capital - own 46.5% and 7%, respectively). In the transaction agreement, the state bank received guarantees and assurances that there were no infringements of intellectual rights by third parties in relation to the intellectual property of the Rambler Group, as well as the absence of grounds for litigation. “Regarding the situation with Nginx, these guarantees were violated,” the release emphasizes.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rambler Group and First Deputy Chairman of Sberbank Lev Khasis emphasized that the state bank reserves all rights related to violation of the guarantees provided by A&NN. He added that the leadership of Sberbank contacted the founders of Nginx to discuss the situation and maintained contact with them all these days.

What is the argument

The reason for the extraordinary meeting of the council was the searches in the Moscow office of Nginx, as well as at the house of its founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov, which became known on December 12. They were carried out in connection with the case under Part 3 of Art. 146 of the Criminal Code on the violation of copyright and related rights by a group of people on a particularly large scale, said a source of "Vedomosti" in law enforcement. Later, the Rambler Group reported that the development of Sysoyev - the Nginx web server - was considered an official work that he created when he worked in the Internet holding. According to Rambler Group, using Nginx without her consent violates exclusive rights.
According to the release, Rambler management decided that the rights of the Internet holding were violated, in 2011, but the Cypriot Lynwood Investments CY Ltd. filed a claim with law enforcement agencies, as the Rambler Group in 2015 ceded to it the right to bring claims and claims in this proceeding. The lawyers of the Cypriot company analyzed “about a thousand pages of documents, files and official correspondence related to the participation of Rambler in the development of the Nginx software product”. “These documents may indicate the existence of legal grounds for concluding a violation of Rambler’s rights,” the release emphasizes.

According to the UK registry on April 28, 2018, Lynwood Investments CY Ltd. owned by Alpha Global (PTC) from the British Virgin Islands. Beneficiary - Nikolay Mamut. The name is also the son of Alexander Mamut, and Interfax called him the beneficiary of Lynwood Investments CY Ltd.

How Nginx was created

Sysoyev was a system administrator at Rambler from 2000 to 2011, and began working on Nginx in 2002. Nginx is an open-source web server, that is, the program (and the server on which it is installed) that provides sites . The web server accepts requests from users ’browsers and gives them HTML pages, images and files. Today, a third of all sites operate on the Nginx web server, among the company's clients Yandex, Group, Netflix, and others. Since 2011, Nginx has raised about $ 104 million from various venture investors, including Goldman Sachs and the fund Runa Capital, and in March 2019 it was acquired by F5 Networks for $ 670 million.

Konovalov called the searches "stupid, straightforward racket." He linked the persecution with the sale of Nginx to the American F5 Networks - a $ 670 million deal was closed in the spring. In a conversation with Vedomosti, the founder of Nginx noted that since the founding of Nginx in 2011, none of the Rambler Group have contacted him. F5 Networks called the claims against Sysoev and Konovalov senseless and said that it had taken measures to ensure the security of its products and codes - all of them are stored on servers outside of Russia.