On April 7, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Motieka & Audzevicius had represented big data company Oxylabs in its successful appeal of a dismissal of an IP rights infringement dispute for lack of jurisdiction in Lithuania. We spoke with Urte Karkliene, Legal Counsel at Oxylabs, to learn more about the case.
CEELM: To give our readers a bit of background, tell us a few words about Oxylabs.
Urte: Oxylabs is a leading global provider of premium proxies and data scraping solutions for large-scale web data extraction. The company’s mission is clear: To give every business – whether big or small – the right to access big data.
With unmatched hands-on experience in web data harvesting, Oxylabs is in trusted partnerships with dozens of Fortune 500 companies and global businesses, helping them unearth hidden gems of business intelligence data through state-of-the-art products and technological expertise.
CEELM: What exactly does the claim consist of — what IP rights of Oxylabs are you claiming have been infringed?
Urte: One of Oxylabs' products is Data Center IP services, which since 2015 had been provided to Luminati Network LTD -- the defendant. In 2017, [Lumintati] stopped buying the services from Oxylabs and contractual legal relations between the parties ceased.
After some time, we noticed that Luminati started providing its own identical solution to the market. What is more, Luminati openly suggested to our customers that they discontinue their cooperation with us and that we were infringing on their patents. Our clients received threats that they might be sued if they continued to use Oxylabs' services. Luminati pressured our clients to start using their services.
This communication was false and undermined our business reputation.
We believe that, according to Lithuanian law, Luminati infringed a number of legal norms, especially Oxylabs’ sui generis rights to its databases and rights to its commercial secret, and by using unfair competition tactics breached our rights of business reputation, etc.
Therefore, Oxylabs filed a complaint against Luminati in Lithuania regarding the reproduction of Oxylabs Data Center's IP services, usage, and distribution of the reproduced technology.
Oxylabs requested that the court prohibit Luminati from reproducing, using, disseminating, or making publicly accessible the technology owned by Oxylabs or similar to it in its technical properties.
In addition, Oxylabs claimed compensation for the infringement of the holder of sui generis rights to the databases, non-material damage for the damages of business reputation, and compensation for the cost of litigation.
As the parties are in different countries the question arose whether Lithuanian courts had jurisdiction over the claim for an alleged infringement of Oxylabs’ intellectual property rights. We are pleased that after all the procedures we finally have a court decision, which allows us to continue the litigation process in Lithuania.
CEELM: If the appeal had been unsuccessful, were you planning on filing a claim in Israel -- or are you doing that anyway?
Urte: The protection of our rights is a strategic decision of the company. We are determined to use all possible means to show the market and those who attempt to use unfair tactics that we do not tolerate this kind of misuse. We are prepared to use all possible means to protect our rights.
CEELM: We understand this was an appeal to a dismissal due to a lack of jurisdiction of Lithuanian courts. Now that the appeal is won, what are the next steps?
Urte: There is still a long way to go to a final court decision. We understand that we need a lot of effort, energy, and persistence to continue our legal actions. For the moment we are concentrated on providing all necessary information to the court and to prove our case.
CEELM: Why did you choose Motieka & Audzevicius for representation on this appeal? Will they be representing you in the case in Lithuania as well?
Urte: Motieka & Audzevicius is a leading litigation firm in Lithuania and there is no doubt that such a partner is a valuable asset in legal procedures. Our continuous successful partnership in other legal matters allowed us to make an easy decision to cooperate in this case as well. Their experience, endurance, deep understanding of business needs, and other positive skills allow us to believe we will be successful in this litigation by working hand in hand.