In the latest in an ongoing despite, Mitsubishi’s US-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America, Inc., has filed a counterclaim against Bombardier.

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America alleges that Bombardier has engaged in illegal anti-competitive behaviour with the intent to impede the development and certification of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft.

On October 19, Bombardier filed a lawsuit against Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, alleging that Mitsubishi Aircraft hired employees from Bombardier to acquire trade secrets.  Flight test company, AeroTEC, was also named in the suit. Mitsubishi and AeroTEC denied the allegations.

Mitsubishi’s position

A statement from Mitsubishi, following its latest move, said: “It is our company position that for several years Bombardier has engaged in a multi-faceted scheme of illegal anti-competitive conduct, directed against Mitsubishi, its partners and its employees. As alleged in the counterclaim filing, since late 2015 Bombardier has threatened, pressured and sought to coerce Mitsubishi Aircraft, its US-based partners, and individual employees working on the MRJ programme. The filings also detail how when Mitsubishi Aircraft refused to accede to Bombardier’s demands, Bombardier filed the present lawsuit.

“While these threats and the lawsuit purportedly relate to allegations of trade secret misappropriation, our position is that Bombardier’s allegations of misappropriation lack factual or legal merit. Rather, we believe these threats and the present litigation constitute an effort by Bombardier to impede the progress of the development of the MRJ and ultimately, to delay the MRJ from entering the market.”

The statement added: “Mitsubishi Aircraft is confident that it will ultimately prevail in defending itself from Bombardier’s unwarranted allegations, and that Bombardier’s actions will not adversely impact the development and entry into service of the MRJ or the success of the MRJ programme.”

Statement from Bombardier

Bombardier is quoted as saying: “Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.’s attempt to recast the dispute as anything other than Bombardier’s justified protection of its intellectual property is misguided and disingenuous,” it said in a statement.

“Bombardier will vigorously enforce its rights and that includes holding (Mitsubishi Aircraft), AeroTEC and individual wrongdoers accountable.”

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