Opera Software has filed a lawsuit against a former employee named Trond Werner Hansen. Opera alleges that Hansen gave away trade secrets to their rival, Mozilla. Opera is claiming about 20 million Norwegian krone (US$3.4 million) in damages.
Hansen worked with Opera Software from 1999 to 2006. He also served as a consultant at Opera from 2009 to 2010. Hansen has been credited with driving innovation at Opera including tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, integrated search, and speed dial according to Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv. and spotted by TheNextWeb.
Opera believes that Hansen took the company’s trade secrets to Mozilla for the popular Firefox browser. Opera referred to a video that features Hansen speaking after Firefox product design lead Alex Limi. Hansen worked with Mozilla to design a browser prototype for the iPad with the code-name “Junior.”
As a result of the lawsuit, Hansen was forced to return to Norway from the United States. Hansen said that he and his lawyers have yet to engage in direct conversation with Opera.