Law Office of Henry B. LaTorraca Civil Trial Attorney

Aircraft company sues for theft of trade secrets

A lawsuit has been filed by an aircraft manufacturer alleging that former employees illegally sent trade secrets to a competitor. Business owners and entrepreneurs in California might be interested in the specifics of the case, which raises issues of intellectual property policing and protection. Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, the CEO of the plaintiff company attempted to resolve the dispute twice by sending letters to officials at one of the defendant companies.

The plaintiff in the case is Bombardier, an aircraft manufacturing company based in Quebec. Among the defendants are Mitsubishi Aircraft and Aerospace Testing Engineering & Certification. Bombardier claims these companies recruited and hired 92 of its workers and that some of the workers sent documents that contained trade secrets to Mitsubishi prior to leaving Bombardier. The CEO of Bombardier has said he is afraid the intellectual property will be used to further the development of an aircraft that competes with Bombardier airplanes.

The trade secrets involved in the case have to do with the process of securing certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. as well as with Transport Canada. The Mitsubishi aircraft the trade secrets would be used to develop have been delayed a number of times over the past 10 years. It is expected to be available during the year 2020. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in the U.S.

Intellectual property is often amongst the most important assets held by a business. Diligent effort may be required to protect it and to keep trade secrets secret. A lawyer with experience in business litigation might be able to help by drafting and filing a complaint for relief or developing a system of communication to ensure a business's trade secrets qualify for protection under the law.

Source: Bloomberg, "Bombardier CEO tried to resolve trade-secret dispute with Mitsubishi before lawsuit: Documents," Julien Arsenault, October 22, 2018

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