queb
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Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:36 am

Bombardier has sued Mitsubishi Aircraft in federal court in Seattle, alleging that employees recruited from the Montreal-based company illicitly emailed batches of Bombardier's trade secrets before they left to help the Japanese planemaker get its long-delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet certified by U.S. regulators.


https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... engineers/

Worse and worse for Mitsubishi...
 
2175301
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:17 am

I really scratch my head on this. A Canadian Company is suing a Japanese company for improper hiring practices of Canadians in US Court? How does this even fall within US jurisdiction (legally this is called "standing").

The part about a possible US sub contractor (AeroTec) would have standing for Bombardier people hired from the Wichita Test site. But, then the suit should be against them, and not Mitsubishi.

Sounds a lot like the lawyers will get the most money from this case...

Have a great day,
 
Prost
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:26 am

Could it have anything to do with Mitsubishi testing their planes at Moses Lake?
 
VV
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:11 am

This is an interesting story. Indeed there are a lot of former Bombardier employees in Seattle area and in Nagoya.

Is there any possibility Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation would join the partnership reportedly being formed by Embraer and Boeing?

It is probably very difficult to be a stand-alone regional aircraft manufacturer nowadays.
 
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LockheedBBD
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:39 pm

VV wrote:
This is an interesting story. Indeed there are a lot of former Bombardier employees in Seattle area and in Nagoya.

Is there any possibility Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation would join the partnership reportedly being formed by Embraer and Boeing?

It is probably very difficult to be a stand-alone regional aircraft manufacturer nowadays.



Wouldn't it make more sense for Bombardier to join Mitsubishi? Bombardier has no replacement for the CRJ. Embraer has the E2s and Boeing's piggy bank. Of course, it would make a lot of sense for Boeing to buy up an Embraer competitor such as Mitsubishi; and Bombardier is essentially heading out of the commercial aircraft market.

Maybe the settlement should be that Bombardier can join Mitsubishi's MRJ program for $1. :lol:
 
stratclub
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:41 pm

2175301 wrote:
I really scratch my head on this. A Canadian Company is suing a Japanese company for improper hiring practices of Canadians in US Court? How does this even fall within US jurisdiction (legally this is called "standing").

The part about a possible US sub contractor (AeroTec) would have standing for Bombardier people hired from the Wichita Test site. But, then the suit should be against them, and not Mitsubishi.

Sounds a lot like the lawyers will get the most money from this case...

Have a great day,

You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices". AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.

Of course lawyers will make a lot of money. Their job is not about "law", it's about keeping their clients involved with the legal system just as long as possible. "Law" is just the tool they use to do it. ever wonder who writes laws?

    While 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are lawyers, 41 percent of the 113th Congress are.
    Members of Congress are sixty-eight times as likely as all American adults to have practiced law.
Last edited by stratclub on Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ewt340
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:56 pm

My family member in Nagoya said that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation is on it's last leg. They are losing money left and right. And their shareholders are unhappy with these situation. People talk here. It's not looking good for them. They are only surviving because of Boeing.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:22 pm

stratclub wrote:
You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices". AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.

Of course lawyers will make a lot of money. Their job is not about "law", it's about keeping their clients involved with the legal system just as long as possible. "Law" is just the tool they use to do it. ever wonder who writes laws?

    While 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are lawyers, 41 percent of the 113th Congress are.
    Members of Congress are sixty-eight times as likely as all American adults to have practiced law.

Indeed, read the link.

We also read:

queb wrote:
employees recruited from the Montreal-based company illicitly emailed batches of Bombardier's trade secrets before they left

I guess aerospace engineers aren't as smart as I thought they were.

Still, it looks like the lawyers will make a meal of it.
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:26 pm

ewt340 wrote:
They are only surviving because of Boeing.


Manufacturing parts? Mitsubishi really should have formed a partnership with another company years ago, but hindsight is 20/20.
 
stratclub
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:44 pm

No doubt about it. The lawyers will have quit the feeding frenzy probably for years to come. And if nothing is ever proven, guess who still gets paid?

Most likely every one of those engineers have signed nondisclosure agreements on file with Bombardier. I remember herding engineers around like cats sometimes. All the education in the world doesn't give a person common sense or a grasp on reality.............
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:41 pm

I have engineering friends in what I'd call the "non-mainline" aviation business, which I'd define as not being in Boeing or Airbus. This ranges from Mitsu to Bombardier to Embraer to Cessna, down to the small time players - many of which are dead - and their many suppliers. Many of the engineers in this arena circulate among these companies depending on where the work is, and engineering work for all of these "non-mainline" groups is done all over the place, geographically speaking. When I read the headline to the OP before reading it, I instantly thought of the engineers who in the past several years gravitated toward Mitsu.
 
2175301
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:47 pm

stratclub wrote:
You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices".


Totally disagree with that. If AiroTec or Mitsubishi had not hired any of those people there could not be the current lawsuit. Intellectual property theft lawsuits are named and structured differently.

stratclub wrote:
AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.


Hogwash. I've never heard of anyone going to prison over intellectual property theft in the western world (and they are just killed in other parts of the world before any trial ever happens).

Furthermore: The nondisclosure agreement with AeroTec would not directly affect any information gotten from Bombardier. It is the terms and conditions (and enforcability of those terms and conditions) for the non-disclosure agreement with Bombardier that is in play... and such things usually don't play across international boundaries (except within the EU where the EU has agreed on a law that jointly applies to all EU Countries).[/quote]

There is a big misunderstanding here. First off: It is rarely not legal to take copies of many documents from companies - unless those documents are specifically marked "Proprietary" or "Confidential." The courts have routinely held that general knowledge documents are not trade secrets (there was a big case in California where one company was claiming that even how you spaced diodes on a circuit board was "trade secret" - and the judge rejected it, and many other similar claims outright - and even stated publically in court that what the company had been claiming as trade secrets and proprietary was obviously not.

Thus, a big question is were there actually any real trade secrets in the documents emailed from the companies. If the same documents have been sent to other companies (say who produce parts) without adequate legal protections and claims in place, which were demonstrably enforced if violated - they are not trade secrets or intellectual property.

The second big misunderstanding is that those "one sided" nondisclosure agreements for which you had no ability to negotiate the terms will stand up in court. A lot of them, and a lot of very specific terms in others are just tossed as it relates to the case.

I would guess that Mitsubishi will be legally off the hook unless Bombardier can show that the documents were clearly marked proprietary or confidential, with full and proper previous controls; and that the documents were directly sent to and used by Mitsubishi (and not AeroTec).

AeroTec may have other issues. But, again once those documents cross international borders a very major case of legal standing and rights exists. Unless the US and Canada has signed a treaty that specifically addresses this legal issue (I have never heard of such a treaty) Bombardier likely has Zero legal case for any documents that moved from Canada to another country. If AeroTec directly received and used such documents from Bombardier employees employed in Kansas... Then AeroTec likely has legal liability -and they should be sued accordingly.

The fact that AeroTec is a sub contractor to Mitsubishi does not make Mitsubishi legally responsible for AeroTec practices, unless it can be shown that Mitsubishi KNEW that AeroTec was violating significant laws.

As such, I see this case more about lawyers filing a case intended more for them to make money than for Bombardier to recover actual damages.

I also suspect that Mitsubishi will be quickly dismissed from the case.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:53 pm

Unless Aerotec and Mitsubishi asked these engineers to bring along trade secrets, they did it by themselves.
The engineers can get sued but Mitsubishi should be safe.
As for breaching non-disclosure agreements, huge sums can be asked, but again, one could argue that if it's so important, the information should be stored accordingly, with restricted and monitored access.
If there is damage, they need to prove it, which is hard.
The MRJ will be just fine, just some free publicity for them.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:28 pm

2175301 wrote:
stratclub wrote:
You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices".


Totally disagree with that. If AiroTec or Mitsubishi had not hired any of those people there could not be the current lawsuit. Intellectual property theft lawsuits are named and structured differently.

stratclub wrote:
AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.


Hogwash. I've never heard of anyone going to prison over intellectual property theft in the western world (and they are just killed in other parts of the world before any trial ever happens).

Furthermore: The nondisclosure agreement with AeroTec would not directly affect any information gotten from Bombardier. It is the terms and conditions (and enforcability of those terms and conditions) for the non-disclosure agreement with Bombardier that is in play... and such things usually don't play across international boundaries (except within the EU where the EU has agreed on a law that jointly applies to all EU Countries).

There is a big misunderstanding here. First off: It is rarely not legal to take copies of many documents from companies - unless those documents are specifically marked "Proprietary" or "Confidential." The courts have routinely held that general knowledge documents are not trade secrets (there was a big case in California where one company was claiming that even how you spaced diodes on a circuit board was "trade secret" - and the judge rejected it, and many other similar claims outright - and even stated publically in court that what the company had been claiming as trade secrets and proprietary was obviously not.

Thus, a big question is were there actually any real trade secrets in the documents emailed from the companies. If the same documents have been sent to other companies (say who produce parts) without adequate legal protections and claims in place, which were demonstrably enforced if violated - they are not trade secrets or intellectual property.

The second big misunderstanding is that those "one sided" nondisclosure agreements for which you had no ability to negotiate the terms will stand up in court. A lot of them, and a lot of very specific terms in others are just tossed as it relates to the case.

I would guess that Mitsubishi will be legally off the hook unless Bombardier can show that the documents were clearly marked proprietary or confidential, with full and proper previous controls; and that the documents were directly sent to and used by Mitsubishi (and not AeroTec).

AeroTec may have other issues. But, again once those documents cross international borders a very major case of legal standing and rights exists. Unless the US and Canada has signed a treaty that specifically addresses this legal issue (I have never heard of such a treaty) Bombardier likely has Zero legal case for any documents that moved from Canada to another country. If AeroTec directly received and used such documents from Bombardier employees employed in Kansas... Then AeroTec likely has legal liability -and they should be sued accordingly.

The fact that AeroTec is a sub contractor to Mitsubishi does not make Mitsubishi legally responsible for AeroTec practices, unless it can be shown that Mitsubishi KNEW that AeroTec was violating significant laws.

As such, I see this case more about lawyers filing a case intended more for them to make money than for Bombardier to recover actual damages.

I also suspect that Mitsubishi will be quickly dismissed from the case.

Have a great day,


Google "economic espionage act" and "California penal code trade secrets."

Mitsubishi would have standing because it was harmed by the alleged conduct, so standing is not a close question if the alleged conduct occurred.

Unless you've read the complaint, it seems difficult to come to the conclusions in the quoted language, since the article is a bit short on facts.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:32 pm

2175301 wrote:
I also suspect that Mitsubishi will be quickly dismissed from the case.

It suggests then that ZTE and Huawei should hire a third party contracting house to hire as many ex-Apple engineers as it can.

Ideally those ex-Apple engineers can email everything they know about FCC compliance to a Yahoo account before they leave Apple.

It shouldn't be too hard to find a fall guy (err third party contracting house) that is willing to accept the risk of being sued if their profit margin is good enough.
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:27 pm

Reading the briefs would reveal more than reading the Seattle Times article. Unless there is standing, D's Motion to Dismiss will be fast and final... at least for W.D.Wash.
 
777PHX
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:22 pm

This happens all the time in all industries. A company I worked for sued the shit out of a competitor and a former employee of ours after he took a job with them and took our customer pricing database with him. When he got over to the other company, he tried to convince an existing employee to use it to the company's advantage, so he couldn't get caught. That employee had a conscience, came over and told us what he was offered, and he became the star witness in the lawsuit. We also hired him.
 
2175301
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:02 pm

777PHX wrote:
This happens all the time in all industries. A company I worked for sued the shit out of a competitor and a former employee of ours after he took a job with them and took our customer pricing database with him. When he got over to the other company, he tried to convince an existing employee to use it to the company's advantage, so he couldn't get caught. That employee had a conscience, came over and told us what he was offered, and he became the star witness in the lawsuit. We also hired him.


Companies notifying other companies is quite common in many cases where an unethical employee pulls out actual confidential/proprietary documents from a previous employer or other competitor (except in rare cases where they have the appropriate approval paperwork to have such documents - which can occur). Rarely involves a lawsuit as often the company management takes action directly. But, often does result in unemployment. The managers and high executives often work with their competitors on industry committees and boards. Things go a lot better when you know that the other people will report unethical behavior.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:22 pm

Waterbomber wrote:
Unless Aerotec and Mitsubishi asked these engineers to bring along trade secrets, they did it by themselves.
The engineers can get sued but Mitsubishi should be safe.
As for breaching non-disclosure agreements, huge sums can be asked, but again, one could argue that if it's so important, the information should be stored accordingly, with restricted and monitored access.
If there is damage, they need to prove it, which is hard.

All three countries signed UN-based IPR agreements in the 90's, and subsequently updated.

You pursue the individuals involved, including existing employees of the target company who may have looked, to make sure they don't work in the industry again, and the target company for damages.

In commercial aviation finance (and legal), where individuals in the past have for example 'shared' tax mitigation schemes, and even specific clauses. Cases rarely go to court, but usually a 'without prejudice' settlement, and the individuals careers take a new direction.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:39 pm

2175301 wrote:
777PHX wrote:
This happens all the time in all industries. A company I worked for sued the shit out of a competitor and a former employee of ours after he took a job with them and took our customer pricing database with him. When he got over to the other company, he tried to convince an existing employee to use it to the company's advantage, so he couldn't get caught. That employee had a conscience, came over and told us what he was offered, and he became the star witness in the lawsuit. We also hired him.


Companies notifying other companies is quite common in many cases where an unethical employee pulls out actual confidential/proprietary documents from a previous employer or other competitor (except in rare cases where they have the appropriate approval paperwork to have such documents - which can occur). Rarely involves a lawsuit as often the company management takes action directly. But, often does result in unemployment. The managers and high executives often work with their competitors on industry committees and boards. Things go a lot better when you know that the other people will report unethical behavior.

Have a great day,

That made me think of this story ( https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... ed-papers/ ) from 2005:

When Boeing fired a 60-year-old engineer named Ken Branch in 1999, he was cited for possessing proprietary Lockheed Martin rocket data in violation of company policy.

Boeing and Lockheed were rival contenders for an enormous Air Force rocket program that both considered key to their future military and space prospects. And Branch, who had previously worked for Lockheed, apparently brought the documents with him when he joined the competition.

Despite the intense rivalry over the rocket program, Boeing promptly alerted Lockheed and the Air Force that it had found the documents in Branch’s files — a total of seven pages.

That disclosure seemed like an impressive act of corporate honesty — until three years later, when Boeing attorneys let slip that the document trove found in Branch’s cubicle actually contained 3,000 pages of Lockheed papers.

And:

Troubled by Boeing’s constantly changing story and the massive quantity of purloined Lockheed trade secrets unearthed by subsequent reviews — more than 66,000 pages to date, held by at least five different Boeing workers — the Justice Department and Lockheed are investigating exactly how Branch came to join Boeing, how much information he may have taken with him and how it was used.

And because of the document scandal, the Pentagon in 2003 stripped Boeing of launches worth $1 billion and suspended its rocket division from bidding for new government business. But the worst may be yet to come.

Ongoing criminal and civil inquiries have spread into many corners of Boeing’s $27 billion Integrated Defense Systems unit. Current and former Boeing executives could face indictments, and Boeing could owe Lockheed billions of dollars in damages.

Later on, Boeing said "the incidents are harmless cases of engineers innocently bringing their own work papers from one job to another", LOL.

Sure, seven pages might be that, but sixty-six thousand pages?
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:44 pm

Revelation wrote:
Later on, Boeing said "the incidents are harmless cases of engineers innocently bringing their own work papers from one job to another", LOL.

Sure, seven pages might be that, but sixty-six thousand pages?

Certainly sets the bar high for Boeing to prosecute employees considering joining Airbus. Just make sure you remove fewer than sixty-six thousand pages of Boeing papers.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
stratclub wrote:
You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices". AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.

Of course lawyers will make a lot of money. Their job is not about "law", it's about keeping their clients involved with the legal system just as long as possible. "Law" is just the tool they use to do it. ever wonder who writes laws?

    While 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are lawyers, 41 percent of the 113th Congress are.
    Members of Congress are sixty-eight times as likely as all American adults to have practiced law.

Indeed, read the link.

We also read:

queb wrote:
employees recruited from the Montreal-based company illicitly emailed batches of Bombardier's trade secrets before they left

I guess aerospace engineers aren't as smart as I thought they were.

Still, it looks like the lawyers will make a meal of it.

In every industry there are those idiots. I once hired an employee from RR. The idiot brought documents with him. On his 3rd and final day of employment he showed them to a coworker. That co-worker called the cheif of security. It is what Mitsubishi did with the information.

Aviation has a huge amount of IP theft. HUGE. I can point to SpaceX and Boeing parts that are Northrop, Douglas stuff was everywhere before the patents expired. I personally (legally) worked a long time on putting expired Whittle patents into service. :cloudnine:

I can identify Honeywell patents in the ARJ-21 and Embraer patented stuff in Bombardier. Some is innocent, most isn't.

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ewt340
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:13 am

LockheedBBD wrote:
ewt340 wrote:
They are only surviving because of Boeing.


Manufacturing parts? Mitsubishi really should have formed a partnership with another company years ago, but hindsight is 20/20.


Yeah. Sadly.
 
AbigailWT
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:10 am

2175301 wrote:
I really scratch my head on this. A Canadian Company is suing a Japanese company for improper hiring practices of Canadians in US Court? How does this even fall within US jurisdiction (legally this is called "standing").

The part about a possible US sub contractor (AeroTec) would have standing for Bombardier people hired from the Wichita Test site. But, then the suit should be against them, and not Mitsubishi.

Sounds a lot like the lawyers will get the most money from this case...

Have a great day,



Simple. It's called locus delicti or "legal venue." Where one brings suit "where the said Crimes shall have been committed." Just because Bombardier is a Canadian company and Mitsubishi is a Japanese company doesn't negate the fact they employ over 10,000 Americans between the two of them. It's reasonable to assume the crime committed in/around the Seattle area where both Mitsubishi and Bombardier have large presence.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:50 am

AbigailWT wrote:
2175301 wrote:
I really scratch my head on this. A Canadian Company is suing a Japanese company for improper hiring practices of Canadians in US Court? How does this even fall within US jurisdiction (legally this is called "standing").

The part about a possible US sub contractor (AeroTec) would have standing for Bombardier people hired from the Wichita Test site. But, then the suit should be against them, and not Mitsubishi.

Sounds a lot like the lawyers will get the most money from this case...

Have a great day,



Simple. It's called locus delicti or "legal venue." Where one brings suit "where the said Crimes shall have been committed." Just because Bombardier is a Canadian company and Mitsubishi is a Japanese company doesn't negate the fact they employ over 10,000 Americans between the two of them. It's reasonable to assume the crime committed in/around the Seattle area where both Mitsubishi and Bombardier have large presence.


While Mitsubishi does indeed have many thousands of US employees... They are almost all in the Automotive division. I am personally unaware that the design or construction work for the MRJ in the US (I may be wrong on that). Mitsubishi did hire AeroTec to assist with certification - and I have no doubt that AeroTec hired people from Bombadier's Kansas certification site. Certification is not aircraft design.

Please let me know if Mitsubishi has a MRJ design center in the US. UPDATE: I found an article saying Mitsubishi opened a 150 person office at AeroTec to support certification. 50 people from Japan, 45 people from AeroTec, and about 55 to be hired. So it is possible that Mitsubishi did hire some Bombardier people in the US to help with certification. Again, though that is certification and not design. If the Aircraft Regulations are anything like Nuclear Power Plant regulations the Federal Regulations and Administrative orders define what has to be submitted (and often the very forms to be used); and the submittals to the NRC are public records except for the Security Plan. I'm stretching on what could be a trade secret there...

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:17 am

Wings over Quebec published an article related to the lawsuit. Perhaps the blog has something new.
https://www.wingsoverquebec.com/?p=7878
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:10 pm

stratclub wrote:
2175301 wrote:
I really scratch my head on this. A Canadian Company is suing a Japanese company for improper hiring practices of Canadians in US Court? How does this even fall within US jurisdiction (legally this is called "standing").

The part about a possible US sub contractor (AeroTec) would have standing for Bombardier people hired from the Wichita Test site. But, then the suit should be against them, and not Mitsubishi.

Sounds a lot like the lawyers will get the most money from this case...

Have a great day,

You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices". AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.

Of course lawyers will make a lot of money. Their job is not about "law", it's about keeping their clients involved with the legal system just as long as possible. "Law" is just the tool they use to do it. ever wonder who writes laws?

    While 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are lawyers, 41 percent of the 113th Congress are.
    Members of Congress are sixty-eight times as likely as all American adults to have practiced law.

Small point of order: an NDA can create civil liability for violations, but usually not criminal. The theft of documents or other IP is a crime unto itself, regardless of whether or not an NDA exists.
 
2175301
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:17 pm

VV wrote:
Wings over Quebec published an article related to the lawsuit. Perhaps the blog has something new.
https://www.wingsoverquebec.com/?p=7878


This sums up very nicely the core issues... and how difficult it will be for Bombardier to win their lawsuit.

If people did not notice; the original Seattle Times article was updated with a statement by Mitsubishi that they were aware of Bombardier's concerns for a long time; and...

“We have been in communications with Bombardier on this matter for quite some time. We believe the allegations to be unfounded and find no merit in their assertions,” director of strategic communications Jeff Dronen said in an email.

Just because some employees took files on their own; does not mean that Mitsubishi asked them to do so or used those files. Bombardier may have a legal case against individual people in that case, and maybe not. Also, how many of those files represent "trade secrets" and "intellectual property" - a really major area of debate especially given the subject area (as described in the Wings over Quebec article).

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:15 pm

2175301 wrote:
VV wrote:
Wings over Quebec published an article related to the lawsuit. Perhaps the blog has something new.
https://www.wingsoverquebec.com/?p=7878


This sums up very nicely the core issues... and how difficult it will be for Bombardier to win their lawsuit.

If people did not notice; the original Seattle Times article was updated with a statement by Mitsubishi that they were aware of Bombardier's concerns for a long time; and...

“We have been in communications with Bombardier on this matter for quite some time. We believe the allegations to be unfounded and find no merit in their assertions,” director of strategic communications Jeff Dronen said in an email.


Just because some employees took files on their own; does not mean that Mitsubishi asked them to do so or used those files. Bombardier may have a legal case against individual people in that case, and maybe not. Also, how many of those files represent "trade secrets" and "intellectual property" - a really major area of debate especially given the subject area (as described in the Wings over Quebec article).

Have a great day,

Yes, I'm aware of the updated article. It'll be interesting to see if Mitsu was proactive and ordered a sweep of their employees and contractors looking for BBD documentation, or at least made everyone aware of the relevant company policies.

After being a corporate employee who has had years of business conduct training, I don't recall this exact case being covered, which suggests to me it might be legally ambiguous.

We were told to not use other company's trade secrets but no real attempt to define that was made.

From the linked article:

When employers recruit highly specialized personnel from competitors for a specific purpose and for a certain period of time, who owns the intellectual property since the companies refuse to keep those who created it? This is not obvious since in the case of Bombardier, it is only a handful of individuals who have the capacity to create this intellectual property. The court will have to decide between what is the expertise of people and intellectual property and especially to whom it belongs.

To me it's clear BBD owns the IP relevant to certifying their products, and the indivduals can retain non-BBD information such as publicly available FAA/JAA or industry trade organization documentation.
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 2:55 pm

Mantra in the early internet day, Information wants to be free. So someone knows how to get an airplane through FAA certification. Can anyone offer a likely example of how a piece of that knowledge could be IP. Oddly in Washington state non-compete agreements are strongly enforced (wrongly so, I think). BBD likely could have stopped those workers from going to Mitsubishi as I understand it, if they had been employed in Washington by both companies.
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c933103
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:13 pm

VV wrote:
This is an interesting story. Indeed there are a lot of former Bombardier employees in Seattle area and in Nagoya.

Is there any possibility Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation would join the partnership reportedly being formed by Embraer and Boeing?

It is probably very difficult to be a stand-alone regional aircraft manufacturer nowadays.

Mitsubishi would surely hope for such help from Boeing but it seem rather unlikely.
Note that the Boeing × Embraer deal seems to be limited to 100+ seats market while MRJ is less than that.
When no other countries around the world is going to militarily stop China and its subordinate fom abusing its citizens within its national boundary, it is unreasonable to expect those abuse can be countered with purely peaceful means.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:14 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Mantra in the early internet day, Information wants to be free. So someone knows how to get an airplane through FAA certification. Can anyone offer a likely example of how a piece of that knowledge could be IP. Oddly in Washington state non-compete agreements are strongly enforced (wrongly so, I think). BBD likely could have stopped those workers from going to Mitsubishi as I understand it, if they had been employed in Washington by both companies.

One single example: Ex-BBD engineer brings compliance test plans from BBD and copy/paste them in to Mitsu templates, with whatever trivial changes are needed to customize them for Mitsu.
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ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:27 pm

c933103 wrote:
Note that the Boeing × Embraer deal seems to be limited to 100+ seats market while MRJ is less than that.

From the leaked MoU, it seems the whole Embraer commercial aircraft line up was to be included (E1s & E2s).

Even worst (for BBD), apparently Embraer would also benefit from Boeing's supply chain (economy of scale) to source components / systems / toolings for its business jets.

Did I read it wrong?
 
2175301
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:48 pm

Revelation wrote:
Yes, I'm aware of the updated article. It'll be interesting to see if Mitsu was proactive and ordered a sweep of their employees and contractors looking for BBD documentation, or at least made everyone aware of the relevant company policies.

After being a corporate employee who has had years of business conduct training, I don't recall this exact case being covered, which suggests to me it might be legally ambiguous.

We were told to not use other company's trade secrets but no real attempt to define that was made.

From the linked article:

When employers recruit highly specialized personnel from competitors for a specific purpose and for a certain period of time, who owns the intellectual property since the companies refuse to keep those who created it? This is not obvious since in the case of Bombardier, it is only a handful of individuals who have the capacity to create this intellectual property. The court will have to decide between what is the expertise of people and intellectual property and especially to whom it belongs.

To me it's clear BBD owns the IP relevant to certifying their products, and the indivduals can retain non-BBD information such as publicly available FAA/JAA or industry trade organization documentation.


I've actually been involved with some of the legalities. 1st major item: Was document marked "Proprietary" "Confidential" "Trade Secret" etc... If it was, was it properly controlled (Only sent to vendors with legally enforceable terms and conditions with penalties for disclosure of document to outside parties). A number of legal rulings have occurred that drawings sent to manufacturers (for bid or procurement) or end users (drawings to companies that purchased their equipment) that were not so controlled were no longer "proprietary."

When I was directly employed in the Nuclear Industry we had people who reviewed documents and decided on classification level (very little of my work was ever classified as "proprietary")

I have also been in the position of needing to use "Proprietary" documents and drawings from another company, supplied to us under adequate controls when the plant purchased the equipment, with other vendors: - and have had to get or purchase permission to release the documents to the other companies (in most cases this was because the original company was no longer in that business and could not support the current work). In some cases it took days of work to even find the current company that owned the rights - and then find and explain to the right person what the document was and what we needed to do with the old equipment that required its release. In other cases it was a 5 minute phone call and I had a signed release letter email to me within 15 minutes.

That does not mean that trade secret and proprietary information cannot be in documents not so marked and properly controlled. But, when going to court instead of having an automatic claim that the documents were legally protected; it is now up to the company to demonstrate that those documents did in fact contain such information (major shift in burden of proof - and enough judges have tossed such claims to show that it is not an easy proof); and that the employee should have known it was proprietary or a trade secret (try proving that for a document no so classified).

As for theft of documents... that is another issue. But, even then the courts have tended to hold that various administrative and general documents - even standard level technical documents (say on a Standards or advanced textbook level) had no proprietary/trade secret value and have to the best of my knowledge not been willing to apply fines or penalties for theft of those kinds of documents.

Only specific drawings of parts and components are easy to prove have a value. Not necessarily easy to prove proprietary or a trade secret.

In my personal case I have letters going all the way back to the mid 1980's releasing to me "samples" of my work by the company I was working for to avoid any such claims on the advice of an employee rights lawyer that I consulted over my 1st non-compete agreement.

When I left the nuclear plant in 2015 (where very few documents are so controlled - and such documents are freely shared with other nuclear plants, or institutions) I just verbally told my Manager that I was planning to take all my work files related to 3 specific projects (not yet resolved) in the event that they wanted to call me and ask me a question in the future, and some other general files. That I had screened the files and removed any confidential or proprietary documents; and if I ever found I had made a mistake in that - that I would delete them if I ever found them on my home computer. Note that I used to work at home on my home computer a lot with the companies permission - and already had a bunch of documents on my home computer. He thanked me for letting him know and said I was OK. They have indeed called me several times about those 3 projects, and I can quickly answer the question as I have my work files.

My consulting work contracts often contain appropriate controls for the few proprietary documents I may receive to prevent me from using the contents of those documents for work with other companies, or providing copies of the documents to other companies; unless permission is specifically granted (only 1 job in 3 years had any proprietary documents).

In my opinion; unless Bombardier can prove that Mitsubishi directly used properly marked and controlled documents that were acquired from people who worked for Bombardier in the US and hired to work in Seattle... this is going nowhere. If such documents exist, were used in the USA or Japan, but were obtained from Canada... The US Courts have no jurisdiction. The US export control laws prevents certain US documents from being sent to other countries for their use (without appropriate permissions). It does not control or prevent other countries documents from being used in the US.

Have a great day,
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:48 pm

It is unclear why certification is considered as extremely difficult.

The certification rules are published by the authorities and you can get it even online. Basically you need to break the rules point by point and then put your design against it then put your proposed method of compliance.

You then discuss with the authorities if they agree of the method of compliance and then ask them if they want to get involved in the demonstration.

If there are novelties in your aircraft then you must also discuss on the special conditions for those novelties including the way you will demonstrate compliance.

You can even find flight test guide on FAA's website.
https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policie ... ID/1033309

It is possible some aircraft manufacturers do more than the minimum for certification.

Now, those people from Bombardier were hired because of their experience and skills and competency not for the documents. It is very unlikely Mitsubishi requested them to bring in documents.

As mentioned above, it is the individual's ethical behavior that is in question here, not Mitsubishi's.

From a first hand source, it was said that Mitsubishi gives training on ethics and conduct as well as IP principles to their new employees. It is part of the initial indoctrination.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:29 pm

I tend to believe BBD's legal team must feel it has sufficient material to win that lawsuit. (That BBD's legal team did an ok job at the ITC, didn't they?)

You just need a couple Mitsubishi internal emails from to prove the intent - I'm sure some of those ex BBD employees don't hate their former employer to the point of keeping a blind eye on a blatant IP theft ("blatant" as they are stunned to see the exact same material they used while at BBD...)

VV, as an ex BBD employee yourself, what are the likelihood BBD was able to obtain some incrementing Mitsubishi internal emails?
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:34 pm

2175301 wrote:
In my opinion; unless Bombardier can prove that Mitsubishi directly used properly marked and controlled documents that were acquired from people who worked for Bombardier in the US and hired to work in Seattle... this is going nowhere. If such documents exist, were used in the USA or Japan, but were obtained from Canada... The US Courts have no jurisdiction. The US export control laws prevents certain US documents from being sent to other countries for their use (without appropriate permissions). It does not control or prevent other countries documents from being used in the US.

Thanks, your post is a very clear summation of the issues involved.
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VV
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:36 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
I tend to believe BBD's legal team must feel it has sufficient material to win that lawsuit. (That BBD's legal team did an ok job at the ITC, didn't they?)

You just need a couple Mitsubishi internal emails from to prove the intent - I'm sure some of those ex BBD employees don't hate their former employer to the point of keeping a blind eye on a blatant IP theft ("blatant" as they are stunned to see the exact same material they used while at BBD...)

VV, as an ex BBD employee yourself, what are the likelihood BBD was able to obtain some incrementing Mitsubishi internal emails?


I am not sure to understand your comment, but it is okay.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:43 pm

777PHX wrote:
This happens all the time in all industries. A company I worked for sued the shit out of a competitor and a former employee of ours after he took a job with them and took our customer pricing database with him. When he got over to the other company, he tried to convince an existing employee to use it to the company's advantage, so he couldn't get caught. That employee had a conscience, came over and told us what he was offered, and he became the star witness in the lawsuit. We also hired him.

Yeah. Betraying your company for a reward really show a concience.
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:08 pm

Irrespective of legal 'success', surely there are two bars to be met.

The first, whether rules apply or not, is it morally / ethically appropriate to copy or remove employer property?

And if removed, what value can be ascribed as a loss to the owner (former employer) and gain to the acquirer (new employer)?

The new employer may gain nothing directly, other than an employee who seems even more knowledgeable / informed on the subject matter than they expected.

Sophisticated aerospace and financial services clients, use electronic water marking (my description, not theirs) and other tools to protect and track information.

Even the most inept company should have processes for data and money laundering. Copying thousands of pages would be at the most basic level.
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:21 pm

VV wrote:
I am not sure to understand your comment, but it is okay.
Oops, regret my lack of clarity, I only wanted your input on how plausible my theory was. But on second thought; never mind as this might get unintentionally sideways.

Best regards
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:31 pm

I may be a little more familiar with this given I know some of the people who formerly worked at Bombardier Flight Test Center (BFTC). Let me start by saying that almost all of the individuals who work at that facility are, or were, contractors. They are not employees. (They do have some but by and large they mostly staff with contractors on short term basis as needed to fulfill immediate needs). These people likely found a better rate at AeroTECH's facility and went to work for them, taking a power point and another document that would help them remember specific things related to certification, ie means of compliance.

These people were working in Kansas and then left to work in the Seattle area. Hence the lawsuit in Seattle. I do not believe any of them are or were employed by Mitsubishi at any time. I also do not believe any of them to be directly employed by BBD either. (See previous paragraph).

Based on my understanding of the situation I do not believe Mitsubishi will be held liable for anything. I do not believe AeroTECH will be held liable for anything unless their new Employees/contractors were instructed to bring these documents. I do believe the employees/former contractors could be held liable for breaking NDA (which would be a civil suit) and possibly IP theft (criminal suit). Since they were formerly in Kansas and now in Seattle, there is no international boundary concerns. At this point they would have to prove that the documents were removed for illicit purposes, and not just a part of their current job duties. Maybe they were just reviewing the documents while at home that night, so they could get their work completed before leaving the company.

As a general note about IP theft in the aviation industry. It is unbelievably rampant. Every company has documents from the other companies. If they tell you they don't they're just lying straight to your face. Can't tell you how many meetings I've been in where someone will say "well how does XXXXXXX do it?" Followed up with, ok, how can we reproduce that with our own processes and methods. Sometimes this doesn't even require documents, just someone with deep rooted knowledge of the subject. Enough they can re-engineer it in their brain. In my opinion this is why companies should be more motivated to keep their talent. Also helps give an argument in favor of vertical integration I suppose.
 
VV
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:00 pm

I think trpmb6's comment #42 makes much sense.

Those people were hired to work on the MRJ based on their experience, knowledge, skills and competency. It is unlikely there has been an explicit request emanating from Mitsubishi or AeroTec to steal documents.

This story is quite confusing, in my opinion. Wings over Quebec blog seems to be quite right to ask the question on the real motivation of the complaint.

Obviously, the engineering organization at Bombardier is today over-sized for the amount of work to be done.
Could there be a hidden message for internal purposes in this widely publicized complaint? The real intention might not be to sue Mitsubishi but to issue a veiled threat to current employees.

We might need to look deeper into the story. Is there a possibility of another wave of lay-offs in Montreal? Its stock price has gone down from CA$ 5.43 in July to CA$3.75 today.
 
VV
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:17 pm

VV wrote:
....
We might need to look deeper into the story. Is there a possibility of another wave of lay-offs in Montreal? Its stock price has gone down from CA$ 5.43 in July to CA$3.75 today.


Wow! The stock price plunged even lower by almost 7% today (23 October 2018) to CA$ 3.47.
 
stratclub
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:07 am

2175301 wrote:
stratclub wrote:
You should read the link. The lawsuit is about outright theft of proprietary intellectual property/trade secrets and zero to do about "hiring practices".


Totally disagree with that. If AiroTec or Mitsubishi had not hired any of those people there could not be the current lawsuit. Intellectual property theft lawsuits are named and structured differently.

stratclub wrote:
AeroTec and Mitsubishi would be a co-conspirators of theft. The venue location is because AeroTec is based in Seattle. Since the AeroTech people very likely signed a nondisclosure agreement when AeroTec hired them, there could be some serious prison time for anyone involved with the theft.


Hogwash. I've never heard of anyone going to prison over intellectual property theft in the western world (and they are just killed in other parts of the world before any trial ever happens).

Furthermore: The nondisclosure agreement with AeroTec would not directly affect any information gotten from Bombardier. It is the terms and conditions (and enforcability of those terms and conditions) for the non-disclosure agreement with Bombardier that is in play... and such things usually don't play across international boundaries (except within the EU where the EU has agreed on a law that jointly applies to all EU Countries).

There is a big misunderstanding here. First off: It is rarely not legal to take copies of many documents from companies - unless those documents are specifically marked "Proprietary" or "Confidential." The courts have routinely held that general knowledge documents are not trade secrets (there was a big case in California where one company was claiming that even how you spaced diodes on a circuit board was "trade secret" - and the judge rejected it, and many other similar claims outright - and even stated publically in court that what the company had been claiming as trade secrets and proprietary was obviously not.

Thus, a big question is were there actually any real trade secrets in the documents emailed from the companies. If the same documents have been sent to other companies (say who produce parts) without adequate legal protections and claims in place, which were demonstrably enforced if violated - they are not trade secrets or intellectual property.

The second big misunderstanding is that those "one sided" nondisclosure agreements for which you had no ability to negotiate the terms will stand up in court. A lot of them, and a lot of very specific terms in others are just tossed as it relates to the case.

I would guess that Mitsubishi will be legally off the hook unless Bombardier can show that the documents were clearly marked proprietary or confidential, with full and proper previous controls; and that the documents were directly sent to and used by Mitsubishi (and not AeroTec).

AeroTec may have other issues. But, again once those documents cross international borders a very major case of legal standing and rights exists. Unless the US and Canada has signed a treaty that specifically addresses this legal issue (I have never heard of such a treaty) Bombardier likely has Zero legal case for any documents that moved from Canada to another country. If AeroTec directly received and used such documents from Bombardier employees employed in Kansas... Then AeroTec likely has legal liability -and they should be sued accordingly.

The fact that AeroTec is a sub contractor to Mitsubishi does not make Mitsubishi legally responsible for AeroTec practices, unless it can be shown that Mitsubishi KNEW that AeroTec was violating significant laws.

As such, I see this case more about lawyers filing a case intended more for them to make money than for Bombardier to recover actual damages.

I also suspect that Mitsubishi will be quickly dismissed from the case.

Have a great day,

I am retired from an aerospace manufacturer and we had training every year on handling of Propitiatory Data/Trade Secrets and were required to sign an NDA as a condition of further employment which stated that If a person (employee) intentionally transfers or receives Proprietary/Trade Secrets, ITAR, Secret or Top Secret government data to someone not authorized to receive it, it was grounds for termination and possible criminal charges for theft depending on the nature of the data and circumstances of the transaction with the unauthorized party. Oh and Manufacturing data is always marked as Proprietary.

Thieves are pretty cowardly, and if they get caught they usually will roll others over for lesser charges. So who knows how many people will end up getting rounded up by the time this is all done.

IDK, but It does sound like a Mitsubishi employee may have been offered Proprietary data/trade secrets data and they reported the incident to Mitsubishi's law department and/or manager which is what their Proprietary/Trade Secrets training requires them to do. And of course it's all speculation at this point.
It would be great to read the actual lawsuit filing.......................

Good reading..............
https://www.aa.washington.edu/files/mae ... 3-2014.pdf
https://www.aerotec.com
 
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LockheedBBD
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:14 pm

Update:

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bomb ... SKCN1PN02U

Mitsubishi Aircraft accuses Bombardier of trying to limit competition for regional jets


Mitsubishi said in a counter-filing claim that Bombardier tried to coerce it and Seattle-based Aerospace Testing Engineering & Certification (AeroTEC) to sign no-poach agreements in 2016 that would stop them from hiring Bombardier’s employees.

“Bombardier has threatened, pressured and sought to coerce Mitsubishi Aircraft, its U.S.-based partners, and individual employees working on the MRJ program.”
 
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Re: Bombardier sues Mitsubishi in Seattle over aircraft trade secrets

Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:10 pm

Court dismisses the BBD suit -



A federal judge has dismissed Bombardier’s claims that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America violated trade secret laws.
Judge James Robart from US District Court in the Western District of Washington notes that Bombardier makes a strong case that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America acquired Bombardier trade secrets.
But Bombardier’s allegations fell short of the legal definition of trade secret misappropriation because Bombardier failed to show that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America knew about them being trade secrets when received.


A federal judge has dismissed Bombardier’s claims that Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation America violated trade secret laws.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ai-457619/

=

BBD has 15-days to appeal or amend their complaint.
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