Opera has accused a former employee of sharing trade secrets with its browser rival Mozilla.
The software company has filed a lawsuit against former employee Trond Werner Hansen in Norway. Hansen stands to lose 20 million krónur ($3.4m) if Opera wins the case.
Opera's lawyer, Bing Hodneland advokatselskap partner, Ole E. Tokvam told V3: "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."
Opera believes that Hansen stole trade secrets from the firm last year. The company alleges that he shared knowledge he gained from the firm when he left Opera for Mozilla in earlier 2012.
Hansen joined Mozilla last year to work on an iPad app. Mozilla's Junior app was a prototype browser for iOS that was developed in 2012. Opera says that the app stole ideas that it was working on for the past several years.
As proof of the theft, the firm points to a video Hansen and Mozilla made last year. In the video Hansen talks about the app and his experiences at Opera. Hansen reports that he had a difficult time implementing his work into the corporate structure at Opera.
Hansen denies Opera's allegations. He says that Opera decided not to pursue the ideas that he used at Mozilla. He told Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv that none of the ideas used by Mozilla were owned or used by Opera.
Opera has struggled in recent years. Last May, it was rumored that Facebook was looking into acquiring the firm to bolster its software ranks. Firefox, meanwhile, has begun to diversify its offerings by creating a mobile operating system for low-end smartphones.
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