Purethink

Full title: NEO4J, INC., et al., Plaintiffs, v. PURETHINK, LLC, et al., Defendants.

Court: United States District Court, Northern District of California

Date published: Oct 25, 2023

Facts

Plaintiff Neo4j USA is Delaware corporation that specializes in graph database management systems and software. Third Am. Compl. (“TAC”), ECF No. 90 ¶¶ 2, 20. Neo4j USA markets and sells its graph database platform under the Neo4j mark. Id. ¶ 2. Plaintiff Neo4j Sweden is a wholly owned subsidiary of Neo4j USA that owns all copyrights relating to the NEO4J graph database platform, including the source code. Id. ¶ 4. Neo4j Sweden licenses the copyrights to Neo4j USA under the Neo4j Sweden Software License (the “Software License”),  which sublicenses the rights in the U.S. Id. Neo4j owns several federally registered trademarks. Id. ¶ 21. All versions of Neo4j’s graph platform software are subject to Neo4j USA’s Trademark Policy found on its website. Id. ¶ 28.

Plaintiffs have historically offered a free and open-source version of their Neo4j software called Neo4j Community Edition (“Neo4j CE”), subject to the GNU General Public License (“GPL”). Id. ¶ 24. For commercial users, Plaintiffs offered a paid-for version of Neo4j called Neo4j Enterprise Edition (“Neo4j EE”), which, compared to the free Neo4j CE version, contains significant additional functionality and provides support for advanced commercial operations. Id. The Neo4j J EE software was historically offered under both a paid-for commercial license and the free GNU Affero General Public License (“AGPL”). As of May 17, 2018, Neo4j EE v.3.4 and later iterations including Neo4j EE 3.5, are only offered under the commercial license, meaning new features to Neo4j EE will be developed as closed source. Id. ¶¶ 25, 27; see ECF No. 213-2, Ex. A (“Undisputed Facts”), Facts 4 and 7.

Issue

Decision

The court has granted the plaintiff’s Daubert motion to exclude the Kuhn Report in its entirety and granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in their favor regarding the DMCA claim and breach of contract claim. The court ordered the defendants to not make further use of or fork any source code first released under the Neo4j Sweden Software License, including Neo4j EE 3.4, Neo4j EE 3.5, or any subsequent versions, subversions, or derivatives thereof.

Defendants are also prohibited from offering for sale, advertising, or promoting ONgDB, GraphStack GDB, and GDB (and any derivative or similar software created and/or maintained by Defendants), or any other software containing Neo4j EE source code with a DMCA Violation or that was first released subject to the Neo4j Sweden Software License.

The court also ordered the defendants not to state, claim, advertise, or represent that Neo4j Sweden AB’s inclusion of the Commons Clause to the license governing Neo4j EE violated the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License, version 3 (“AGPLv3”), or make similar statements interpreting the terms of AGPLv3.

Defendants are also prohibited from using any source code, patches, or source code commits for Neo4j EE version 3.3 or Neo4j EE version 3.4 that were first released under the Neo4j Sweden Software License. Within three days of entry of this Order, the defendants must remove, take down, destroy, and prevent further access to all source code, object code, binaries, build files, build scripts, plug-ins, and distributions from any and all public and private repositories that contain any Neo4j EE source code with a DMCA Violation or that was first released subject to the Neo4j Sweden Software License.

In addition, the defendants are prohibited from offering for sale or providing for any paid development, support, maintenance, or hosting services for ONgDB, GraphStack GDB, GDB, or any other software containing Neo4j EE source code with a DMCA Violation or that was first released subject to the Neo4j Sweden Software License.

Defendants are prohibited from providing access to or obtaining software containing Neo4j EE source code with a DMCA Violation, subject to the Neo4j Sweden Software License, or not permitted for use by Paragraph 6. They must not have any license to use or use any of the Plaintiffs’ source code, object code, machine code, or software subject to a commercial license or paid subscription.

The Parties are further ORDERED to file an amended Joint Final Pretrial Conference Statement in light of this Order no later than October 31, 2023

IT IS SO ORDERED.

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