Norway’s Opera Software is accusing a former employee of divulging trade secrets to Mozilla, the open source group that created the Firefox web browser.
According to Opera, which makes its own eponymous niche web browser, Trond Werner Hanson, a former lead designer who left the company for a year around i2007, broke his confidentiality agreement with the software developer by sharing concepts behind a lean web browser. Opera has sued Hanson in Norwegian court for about $3.4 million, TechWeekEurope notes.
Mozilla is not named in the litigation.
During his time away from Opera, Hanson concedes that he met with several companies, including Mozilla and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to discuss his personal ideas for a streamlined browser. In 2008, he rejoined Opera as a consultant, but that he says he never transferred the browser ideas he was working on to the company.
In 2012, Hanson joined Mozilla after Opera did not renew his contract as a consultant. Opera sued after seeing a presentation from Hanson at a conference.
Earlier this month, Mozilla announced that it had partnered with South Korean electronics giant Samsung to develop a new web browser capable of exploiting the power of multi-processor chips.