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Motorcycle firm sues a cofounder

NEWARK — A California company that makes electric motorcycles featured in Time magazine’s list of top inventions for 2013 is suing one of its cofounders, a New Jersey man who was terminated from the company last month.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court, contends that San Francisco-based Mission Motorcycles has the right to buy back most of Vincent Ip’s 300,000 shares of company stock, under an agreement Ip signed this year.

Ip was terminated in November for what the lawsuit characterizes as unprofessional behavior, including physically threatening one of his cofounders.

Ip has rejected the company’s claim and plans to countersue, his attorney, Lisa Solbakken, said Monday.

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Solbakken said the stock agreement was ‘‘the product of a fraudulent scheme to dilute my client’s interest in the company.’’

Ip did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Mission Motorcycles was founded by Ip and partners Mark Seeger and Andrew Ng this year, according to the lawsuit.

In its feature, ‘‘The 25 Best Inventions of the Year 2013,’’ Time called the Mission R ‘‘a beast of a machine’’ that tops out at 150 miles per hour with zero tailpipe emissions.

According to the lawsuit, the three cofounders each invested $30,000, in exchange for 300,000 shares of company stock, and later signed a stock restriction agreement that gave the company the right to repurchase the stock of any shareholder in the event the shareholder’s employment was terminated.