business

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi Aircraft over alleged theft of trade secrets

24 Comments
By Nathan Layne

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How in the world does Bombardier know that Mitsubishi used any propitiatory information when Mitsubishi hasn't filed it yet?

A big ole fishing expedition if you ask me.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

A big ole fishing expedition if you ask me.

Not if Bombardier presents evidence of the employees' emails that it mentions in the suit.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I don't know the merits of the case, but with 92 former employees recruited to join Mitsubishi there will be a lot of email data to go through to consider. If the meta data shows the attachments they sent to themselves and that was critical IP then this just got interesting

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't know if one can trust bombardier.

They got an order for trains in Switzerland for about 2 Billion Dollars. And after that they announced last year, they will kick out 650 workers.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

JeffLeeToday 05:34 pm JST

Not if Bombardier presents evidence of the employees' emails that it mentions in the suit.

They sent them to them to their own personal account. If Mitsubishi have not filed any documents then it's impossible for Bombardier to correlate them to Mitsubishi. The best Bombardier could do is file individual complaints to the ones who sent out those files and not against Mitsubishi.

Like I said it's a big ole fishing expedition.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

They sent them to them to their own personal account.

After all were hired by MItsubishi or its client, it would seem. Gosh, I'm sure that was just a coincidence. LOL.

The best Bombardier could do is file individual complaints to the ones who sent out those files 

The individuals are among the parties named in the suit.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I love Japan and Asia, but dagnabbedit if they don't have a reputation for stealing and copying what others have invented.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

JeffLeeToday 09:15 pm JST

After all were hired by MItsubishi or its client, it would seem. Gosh, I'm sure that was just a coincidence. LOL.

They can't send something from Bombardier after being hired from Mitsubishi since they would have to terminate employment with Bombardier before being hired.

Again it's a big ole fishing expedition since Bombardier can't connect it directly to Mitsubishi.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I love Japan and Asia, but dagnabbedit if they don't have a reputation for stealing and copying what others have invented.

Mistsubishi is a huge corporation, massive R & D departments. They manufacture hi-tech cars, trucks, aircraft, rockets and many world class machines. They never would need to copy or steal Canadian designs. Case dismissed.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

documents and data related to the certification of airplanes in Canada and the United States.

If it's about certification that are filed then it should be on public domain for all to see in which case there are no propitiatory information involved.

So what is Bombardier's beef against Mitsubishi?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Certification requires expertise. Apparently, from what I’ve read, Bombardier is one of a handful of airplane manufacturers able to certify its own planes and Mitsubishi is not one of those handful, probably having to rely on outside companies with the required expertise, which costs money. According to Bombardier, certification for just one model plane can takes years and costs billions of $. Mitsubishi “bought” knowledgeable employees away from Bombardier, who in turn brought with them confidential information relating to this certification process. Bombardier claims that this amounts to intellectual property theft.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Once upon a time Japan Inc. would’ve gotten away with this kind of thing. It seems though that elites here are yet to grasp the fundamentally changed reality that America and its partners are in the process of implementing. One can only hope that wiser counsel will prevail and that they’ll dispense with the wishful thinking that all of this is going to soon blow over. It won’t and indeed if Japan continues to insist on its right to have their trade cake and eat it then it’s only going to get worse.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S0VO_Q80OXk

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Triring

So what is Bombardier's beef against Mitsubishi?

Bombardier doesn't want a new competitor, obviously.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This amounts to basic Employment Law:

1) Bombardier can't sue Mitsubishi for the "theft" carried out by former employees.

That is, unless Bombardier can prove beyond any reasonable doubt, that former employees were actively commanded by Mitsubishi to steal "confidential information". This will be a tough one to crack.

There is a reason why employees are subject to restrictive covenants (JT "experts" must know ALL about what they are) in their respective employment contracts.

Bombardier's redress must be sought against former employees, if Mitsubishi's involvement in the "syphoning" couldn't be proven.

2) Bombardier is applying for a preliminary injunction against Mitsubishi, to prevent use of the stolen "confidential information".

Providing that the information was still confidential (JT "experts surely KNOW all about this aspect of confidentiality), and Bombardier can prove that Mitsubishi actually used it, then the injunction will be implemented to restrain Mitsubishi from using it.

That's all there is to it, really.

P.S. JT "Experts", I don't think Wiki will help you much on this though.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Obviously, serious theft (any any) will not be heard by an Employment Tribunal.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Didn't the workers have a non-compete?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Didn't the workers have a non-compete?"

They were Employees, not Workers.

Big difference.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Trying to say that Mitsubishi can't do it on their own is a bit laughable however.

The article also has factually incorrect information - Mitsubishi produced the MU-2, a passenger plane and military variant, until 1986. That aircraft was most definitely certified to fly in the US, though it had a spotty safety record as it was a high performance aircraft that tended to be flown by underqualified, low-turbine time pilots unfamiliar with ice.

The MU-2 was and is a fantastic plane and I'm sure that all the technology and know-how that went into it did not just disappear into thin air. 1986 was a long time ago but the knowledge and production techniques have not changed all that much - avionics and engine technology are where the largest advances have been made.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Triring

"...since they would have to terminate employment with Bombardier before being hired."

Ok, you don't understand how hiring and recruitment take place outside of Japan, it seems. It's common for job hoppers to negotiate deals with potential employers while still employed.

"Bombardier can't connect it directly to Mitsubishi...."

And that doesn't mean Mitsubishi is innocent. If only the Mitsubishi employees are found liable, then Bombardier still comes out ahead and Mitsubishi's rep is tarnished, and this would be no "fishing expedition."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Ok, you don't understand how hiring and recruitment take place outside of Japan, it seems. It's common for job hoppers to negotiate deals with potential employers while still employed."

You can "negotiate" all you like. You cannot sign anything whilst employed by somebody else, or else you'll be in breach of contract.

Conflict of interests is usually a clause in every contract of full time employment, whereby your Employer reserves the right to determine whether or not you can engage in parallel activities; certainly another full time employment would put your actual full time in direct conflict with a second full time employment.

You would be in breach of a fundamental clause, touching the root of the contract, enabling the Employee to dismiss and that dismissal wouldl not be wrongful.

The following clause is usually inserted in every Employment Contract:

"During the terms of the Employee's active employment the the Employer, the Employee will not, directly or indirectly, engage or participate in other business activities that the Employer, in its reasonable discretion determines to be in conflict with the rest of the interests of Employer without the written consent of the Employer"

9 times out of 10 your parallel employment will be deemed in conflict.

This is the law in the UK and most of the civilized world.

Triring is correct.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

What this is essentially about is the until now taken for granted practice of Japanese firms, no doubt with the connivance of and perhaps even at the instigation of the central Government, exploiting the openness that other societies practice as a matter of course. With its quasi militaristic ‘business is war by other means’ mindset, Japan is forever looking to pick the eye teeth fruits of Western know how, enabling it to leapfrog years of R&D efforts to achieve technological breakthroughs which translate into market share. Aided immensely by having a captive market at home as well as being able to maximize profit via quasi militaristic workforce conditions is a winning formula that they will never tamper with. Only when the rest of us finally cry foul and insist on full reciprocity and quid pro quo will things change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They never would need to copy or steal Canadian designs

Japanese companies have a strong track record of falsifying information, reports, financial statements.

But, hey, all they need to do is bow in front of a media scrum, and it's all ok.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Happens in a lot of Industries, and look at what China's been doing with American companies all along (now they've found out that Israel is the source of the Technology, so have started doing the same there too). IP rights enforcement will always be a big tricky thing across borders especially when Governments and National pride are involved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Peeping_Tome

You cannot sign anything whilst employed by somebody else,

Huh? Who said anything about "signing"? I've been in discussions with potential employers whilst employed by another. Everyone does this. Cant believe I have to explain this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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