On Thursday, December 12, law enforcement authorities searched the office of Nginx and interrogated the company founders. Media reports said the case is connected to one of the companies associated with the Rambler Group.
The legal dispute between the Rambler Group and Nginx raises several questions regarding both the fact of launching a criminal case based on the fact of causing damage to the Rambler Group and generally regarding the latter’s intellectual property rights.
Firstly, it seems strange to initiate a criminal case more than 10 years after an alleged copyright violation and other rights to the Rambler Group. In our practice, we encounter criminal cases in which the moment of commission is artificially adjusted to a later date due in order to circumvent the statute of limitations under Russia’s Criminal Code. Similar circumstances may have occurred in this case.
Secondly, the non-presentation of any claims by the Rambler Group under the law, during the entire period from the date of the alleged violation (2004) raises questions. On this issue, we can agree with Media comments that, “the Nginx deal with F5 opened Rambler’s eyes to what they had lost” and the latter decided to use all possible means to be compensated. However, the right to that compensation appears quite controversial.
In summary, we hope this dispute will be resolved exclusively within the legal framework. That law enforcement and the judiciary will competently understand the complexities of copyright and related rights.