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Mitsubishi Aircraft seeks to have Bombardier lawsuit dismissed

Mitsubishi Aircraft’s US unit has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by Bombardier alleging that the Japanese airframer poached key staff and trade secrets related to aircraft certification.

Court documents provided to FlightGlobal show that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America is arguing that Bombardier has failed to substantiate a number of the claims against it.

Those include that Mitsubishi and its partner Aerospace Testing Engineering and Certification (AeroTEC) interfered with Bombardier’s expectations that its staff would not leave for another aerospace company; that it allegedly misappropriated trade secrets from Bombardier; and that, in doing so, that the plaintiff's actions were intended to cause delays to certification of the CSeries (now the Airbus A220) and the Global 7000/8000 business jets.

Mitsubishi Aircraft is developing the MRJ regional jet programme, and AeroTEC is involved in the certification testing for the jet, a large portion of which is taking place in the United States.

In a separate statement, the Japanese manufacturer explained that the motion to dismiss is based on its belief that the allegations brought by Bombardier have no merit, and categorically denied that it ever sought or misappropriated trade secrets from the former and current employees of the Canadian manufacturer.

“Regardless, these materials would not be useful or applicable to our program, which relies on a unique certification process distinct from that employed for any Bombardier aircraft program,” it adds.

Mitsubishi’s filing also notes that for two years Bombardier tried to pressure it and AeroTEC into signing “what would have amounted to illegal no-poaching agreements.”

It also states that it was only after the two defendants refused to sign such an agreement that it “filed this ‘trade secret’ lawsuit.”

The motion to dismiss the suit is set to be heard in the US District Court in Seattle on 11 January.

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