Bombardier is claiming in a lawsuit that Mitsubishi stole some of the secret sauce it uses to smooth the aircraft certification process. In a suit filed in Seattle last week, Bombardier said Mitsubishi lured 92 of its employees to help it gain certification of its MRJ airliner, which may someday be a competitor to the Airbus A220, the former Bombardier CSeries program assumed by Airbus last year. The crux of the Bombardier suit is that the new hires at Mitsubishi and AeroTEC, an American company helping Mitsubishi get its little airliner to market, stole some of Bombardier’s intellectual property.
“Bombardier has spent about a decade and several billion dollars bringing the C Series from concept to realization and this is not abnormal for an airplane that has been imagined from the drawing board,” Bombardier said in court filings. “The process is incredibly costly, time-consuming, and complex — even for the most experienced of aircraft manufacturers who have gone through that process and developed trade secrets to face it more efficiently,’’ AeroTEC has not offered comment.