Bombardier, based in Canada, has sued Mitsubishi Aircraft, of Japan, claiming that some workers recruited from Bombardier by Mitsubishi emailed batches of Bombardier’s proprietary information, before they left, to their new employer. The suit was filed last week in a U.S. federal court in Seattle, the Seattle Times has reported. Bombardier claims Mitsubishi Aircraft and its Seattle contractor, AeroTEC, have hired about 92 former Bombardier employees. Mitsubishi was looking for information that would help get its regional jet, the MRJ, which has faced multiple delays, to achieve certification by the FAA, according to the suit. Mitsubishi has denied the allegations. “We strongly reject this lawsuit and find their allegations and assertions without merit,” the company said in a statement posted online Monday.
“We see these proceedings as a recognition of our competitive product and this lawsuit primarily as an attempt by Bombardier to stifle global competition,” according to Mitsubishi’s statement. “We will strongly defend our position in this case.” Bombardier’s suit seeks monetary damages and a court injunction that would stop Mitsubishi and AeroTEC from recruiting Bombardier employees, and stop them from using any “misappropriated” information. Mitsubishi’s MRJ has experienced ongoing delays for about 10 years, and is expected to reach the market in 2020.