Opera settles secrets-theft suit against ex-employee

The Norwegian browser maker's lawsuit alleging that former employee Trond Werner Hansen gave company secrets to Mozilla is at an end.

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Opera Software and Trond Werner Hansen have settled a lawsuit against that alleged the former employee spilled trade secrets to rival browser maker Mozilla.

Werner on Thursday told CNET said the suit was settled, but said he couldn't share details.

"But I'm very happy it's over and look forward to being able to focus on my music and other projects again," he said.

Opera said it was happy, too. "I can confirm that the case against Trond Werner Hansen has been dropped by Opera by reaching an agreement which has been satisfactory to both parties," spokeswoman Falguni Bhuta said.

In the suit, filed in 2012, alleged that Hansen took secrets to Mozilla. "Opera is of the opinion that the former employee has acted contrary to his contractual and other legal obligations towards Opera. Among other things, we claim that he is in breach of the duty of loyalty and his contractual and statutory confidentiality obligations," said Ole E. Tokvam, a lawyer with Bing Hodneland Advokatselskap who represents Opera, in an April interview.

Hansen, though, saw things differently.

"I strongly disagree with their position, and I believe I have been wrongly accused, and that I can prove my case," he said last month.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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