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Opera and ex-employee settle £2.2m lawsuit

Legal fees stop climbing
Fri May 17 2013, 10:11
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NORWEGIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY Opera has settled the £2.2m lawsuit against ex-employee Trond Werner Hansen.

Hansen blogged about the situation at the end of April, explaining that Opera claimed he had taken its information to his new employer. The problem for Opera was that the employer was Mozilla, and the problem for Hansen was that he said he didn't do it.

"So my former employer Opera Software has filed a lawsuit against me in Norway for 20 million NOK ($3.4 million), claiming breach of contract and that I must have given Mozilla information that I wasn't allowed to that has caused severe damage to the company. I strongly disagree with their position," he wrote.

Hansen said that during his time at the firm he made a number of significant advances in its web browser, and even went back to work there.

"I worked at Opera from 1999 to 2006 as the lead designer and developer of the desktop browser, where my most important contributions were tabbed browsing, integrated search, speed dial and mouse gestures," he added, explaining that a new browser product had been worked on and discussed but ultimately not pursued. Hansen returned to work at Mozilla.

Things went sour when Opera saw a video in which an employee at Mozilla demonstrated something called "Search Tabs".

"Opera claims that it proves that I must have told Mozilla trade secrets causing them damages of 20 million NOK. ($3.4 million)," he added. "I strongly disagree with their position and I believe I have been wrongly accused, and that I can prove my case."

Hansen has since updated his blog, revealing that the lawsuit has been settled. "Just to confirm, Opera Software and I have reached an agreement, and the lawsuit is no more," he said.

"This means I can get back to focusing on my music and some other projects I'm working on. Stay tuned!" µ


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