Norwegian browser maker Opera Software has filed suit against Trond Werner Hansen, one of its former developers, alleging that Hansen took trade secrets with him when he went to work with Opera rival Mozilla.
[..] Hansen worked at Opera from 1999 through 2006. There he led design and UI development, first for the Windows version of the Opera browser, then for the cross-platform Desktop version. He later returned as an independent consultant from 2009 to 2010, at Opera's request.
Then in 2012, Hansen began to work with the Mozilla Foundation, makers of the open source Firefox browser – and that's when things got dicey.
According to Opera, Hansen's contributions to Mozilla projects included Opera trade secrets, and the company is now suing Hansen for 20m Norwegian kroner ($3.4m/£2.2) in damages as a result.
Hansen discusses "Junior", Mozilla's experimental browser for the iPad, which features a stripped-down UI that lacks many of the traditional UI controls found in browsers for desktop platforms. Superficially, at least, Junior appears to incorporate many ideas that Hansen advocated while at Opera, where for many years he maintained that the Opera browser's UI was too heavy and needed to be simplified. But Hansen argues that these are simply his own ideas about UI design and usability, and not any kind of intellectual property to which Opera could lay claim.
Hansen told the paper that he first learned of Opera's lawsuit in the summer of 2012, when he was living in New York City and pursuing a music career. Now those plans have been put on hold, he says, and he has been forced to return to Norway, where he lives with friends and family and has been selling off assets to support himself.
[..] a hearing on the matter is scheduled for late August 2013.
Source (El Reg)
Seriously? What trade secrets, crackpots? Neither there are any secrets nor Opera has anything special to trade, given that their market share is a 1% flatline at best and a rounding error at worst, and for a good reason. Looks like the biggest crybabies of Microsoft Browser Ballot kaboodle need some new office chairs or whatever is that Google won't gladly pay for. I somehow doubt that even if Hansen stole their whole source code and handed over to Mitchell Baker in person, he doesn't have those asked millions anyway, so it's all a lost cause to begin with. Norway must be the home of the original, non-proverbial trolls for a reason...
Edited by Marshall, 01 May 2013 - 15:08.