According to TNW’s report, the person Opera is taking to court is Trond Werner Hansen, a designer and musician based in Oslo, Norway. Hansen worked at company from 1999 to 2006, and returned as a consultant to the Norwegian software company from 2009 to 2010.
He is credited as the driving force behind early browser innovations such as tabbed browsing, speed dial, and integrated search.
The company is now suing Hansen because they believe he took some of their trade secrets to rival international company Mozilla, which develops the popular Firefox browser. As evidence, Opera points to a video that features Firefox’s new product design by Hansen.
Hansen worked with Mozilla last year, designing and developing a browser prototype for the iPad, codenamed ‘Junior’.
Case Confirmed by Opera
Opera’s lawyer Ole E. Tokvam said to TNW that the dispute is pending before the courts, and due to the pending court hearing that will take place late august, Opera chooses not to comment on the case in detail.
In response to the allegations, Hansen has published a short blog. In the post, he stated that he have been working on a browser in concept after his time at Opera, and almost brought the project into that company.
Opera is a web browser and Internet suite developed by Opera Software with over 300 million users worldwide. The browser handles common Internet-related tasks such as displaying web sites, sending and receiving e-mail messages, managing contacts, chatting on IRC, downloading files via BitTorrent, and reading web feeds. Opera is offered free of charge for personal computers and mobile phones.
Opera Mini, which is the third most popular mobile web browser as of March 2013, has been chosen as the default integrated web browser in several mobile handsets by their respective manufacturers.
Opera began in 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest Norwegian telecommunications company. In 1995, it branched out into a separate company named Opera Software ASA. Opera was first released publicly with version 2.0 in 1996, which only ran on Microsoft Windows. In an attempt to capitalize on the emerging market for Internet-connected handheld devices, a project to port Opera to mobile device platforms was started in 1998. Opera 4.0, released in 2000, included a new cross-platform core that facilitated creation of editions of Opera for multiple operating systems and platforms.