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Rambler asks police to drop criminal case against Nginx, says it will sue in civil court, instead

Source: Meduza

Top executives at Rambler say they will ask Russian law enforcement to close their criminal case against the web-server Nginx, based on a decision by Rambler’s board of directors, according to a press release issued to Meduza.

Rambler also says it is cutting ties to the “Lynwood” law firm, which filed the police report on the company’s behalf that prompted an investigation into Nginx. In its press release, Rambler says further litigation will be “within the framework of civil law.”

On Thursday, December 12, Russian law enforcement raided the Moscow office of the IT company “Nginx,” which owns the eponymous web-server used by almost 500 million websites around the world. According to several reports, Nginx co-founders Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov spent several hours in police interrogation. The search was part of a criminal case based on charges by a company tied to the Russian billionaire and Rambler Group co-owner Alexander Mamut, whose businesses believe they own the rights to the Nginx web-server because Sysoev started developing the code while working for Rambler in 2004.

“We discovered that Rambler Internet Holding’s exclusive rights to the web-server Nginx were violated as a result of the actions of third parties,” an official representative from Rambler Group told Meduza last week. “In this regard, Rambler Internet Holding ceded the right to bring claims related to violations of the rights to Nginx to Lynwood Investments CY Ltd., which is qualified to restore justice on the issue of ownership of rights.”

“Lynwood Investments” is reportedly connected to Russian billionaire and Rambler Group co-owner Alexander Mamut, who owned the British book retailer “Waterstones” through Lynwood Investments. A spokesperson for the company told Meduza that it was formally named “A&NN Holdings Limited” when it received the rights to bring claims related to Nginx. Alexander Mamut, incidentally, also owns a firm called “A&NN Investments.”

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