Opera sues ex-employee alleging confidentiality breach

Opera sues ex-employee alleging confidentiality breach

By | May 1st, 2013
No Comments on Opera sues ex-employee alleging confidentiality breach

Opera Software has sued its ex-employee named Trond Werner Hansen, alleging

that he breached confidentiality agreements by divulging trade secrets to

Mozilla.


														               
							 	 						

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Opera Software, the company behind the popular Opera Mini browser for mobile phones which also makes the Opera browser for the desktop has sued its ex-employee named Trond Werner Hansen for more than 20 million Norwegian Krone or 3.4 million US dollars. It is alleged that he breached his confidentiality agreement by revealing trade secrets to Mozilla when he worked there as a contributor. Mozilla has denied any involvement by saying that Hansen was working as an independent contractor only for a short while.

The issue apparently pertains to a prototype browser known as Mozilla ‘Junior’ for iPad, which was being demonstrated by Hansen in a video where he also talked about upcoming features in the browser that Opera felt were conflicting with what it was already working on.

Ole E. Tokvam from Bing Hodneland Advokatselskap, which is Opera’s law firm was quoted by The Next Web, “Opera Software ASA is of the opinion that Hansen, after he left Opera, has acted contrary to his contractual and other legal obligations towards Opera, among other things, the duty of loyalty and his contractual and statutory confidentiality obligations.”

Trond Hansen on the other hand has published a blog post defending his position and explaining what might have led Opera to believe that he spilled trade secrets which he apparently didn’t. He mentions, “I strongly disagree with their position and would like to give some background information that will clarify the case a bit and answer some of the many questions I’m getting. However, for now, I will not comment directly on what Opera is claiming in the lawsuit.” He goes on to explain how he earlier worked for Opera and after he left, started working on another Open Source browser. When he was later asked to consult Opera again, he decided to steer the browser in the direction which he felt was similar to the ideas from his Open Source browser.

The case is yet to face a court hearing, pending which both parties have refused to divulge specific details.

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet:
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