Secrets lawsuit to be dropped under Mitsubishi-Bombardier deal

(Reuters) - A trade secrets lawsuit brought by Canada’s Bombardier against the aircraft unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd has been “stayed” or suspended and will be dropped when a deal for the Japanese company to buy Bombardier’s regional jet program closes, Mitsubishi said on Tuesday.

Bombardier sued Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation in October, alleging that former Bombardier employees had passed on trade secrets to help Mitsubishi’s oft-delayed regional jet project.

On Tuesday, however, the two sides agreed that Mitsubishi would buy Bombardier’s loss-making CRJ regional jet program.

“The (legal) action has been stayed for the time being and if and when the transaction closes the case will be dropped,” a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries representative said by email, in response to a Reuters query on the status of the case.

“Today is simply the announcement of the definitive agreement. Future plans will be announced once the transaction is closed in early 2020,” the representative added.

Reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; Editing by Lisa Shumaker