AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT
Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Business Wire
Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

ADDING and REPLACING Archer Aviation: Wisk Employees’ Testimony and Documents Evidence That Wisk Filed Patent for Aircraft Design Nearly Identical to Archer’s Weeks After Learning of Archer’s Design

June 25, 2021 GMT

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 25, 2021--

Add after last paragraph of release dated June 24, at 4:23 PM ET: Forward Looking Statements

The updated release reads:

ADDING AND REPLACING ARCHER AVIATION: WISK EMPLOYEESTESTIMONY AND DOCUMENTS EVIDENCE THAT WISK FILED PATENT FOR AIRCRAFT DESIGN NEARLY IDENTICAL TO ARCHERS WEEKS AFTER LEARNING OF ARCHERS DESIGN

  • Wisk Chief Engineer, after learning Archer’s design in recruiting meeting, emails himself on his Wisk email specific details of Archer’s plans and designs and also informs Wisk CEO and CTO of what he learned and only afterwards Wisk files patent application
  • Comprehensive forensics investigation for any Wisk data proves not a single confidential Wisk document exists at Archer
  • Wisk fails to provide any evidence whatsoever—not a single document, not a single witness, nothing—that Archer received or used any Wisk trade secret
  • Archer asks Court to deny Wisk’s request for Preliminary Injunction

ADVERTISEMENT

In court papers filed late last night by Archer Aviation Inc. (“Archer”) in opposition to Wisk’s motion for a preliminary injunction, Archer, citing Wisk employees’ testimony and documents produced by Wisk in discovery, states that Wisk filed its aircraft design patent application -- which as Wisk points out in its lawsuit appears nearly identical to Archer’s -- weeks after learning of Archer’s aircraft design. The filing says that Wisk’s Chief Engineer learned of Archer’s aircraft design during an Archer recruiting meeting in December 2019, shared that information with senior executives at Wisk, and then weeks later, Wisk filed a patent application for an aircraft design which appears nearly identical to the one described to him by Archer executives. The court filing goes on to state that Wisk subsequently used this patent application as evidence of wrongdoing by Archer with both criminal authorities and the court.

The court filing also states that despite Wisk’s claims to the contrary, Archer is not the target of an FBI or Justice Department criminal investigation and that an extensive forensic review of Archer’s systems belies Wisk’s allegation that Archer has stolen any of the documents that Wisk claims it did; the forensic review showed that none of the allegedly stolen documents exist on Archer employee Jing Xue’s Archer devices or any of Archer’s systems.

“Allegations of ‘brazen theft’ and ‘wholesale’ misappropriation are gravely serious, and have serious consequences,” the filing says. “At a minimum, such allegations demand serious evidence. Wisk’s motion provides none, and should be denied.”

Wisks Patent Application Underlying its Lawsuit Was Filed Weeks After Wisk Learned of Archers Aircraft Design

ADVERTISEMENT

The filing states, “Wisk fundamentally misrepresents the ‘facts’ on which it urges this Court to infer misappropriation, starting with its central allegation that the similarity between Archer’s aircraft and a design in Wisk’s patent application ‘could not have been a coincidence’ and shows that Archer ‘ripped off wholesale’ Wisk’s design. Wisk plasters a side-by-side comparison throughout its motion, claiming that it proves Archer’s misappropriation because ’Archer’s aircraft is inexplicably a copy of a design Wisk submitted confidentially in a January 2020 patent application—more than a year before Archer’s copycat design was revealed.”

“This is the centerpiece of Wisk’s motion (and media blitz), and every aspect of it is a fraud. Wisk’s design was not even in any document Xue downloaded. And Wisk’s claim that its application was filed before Archer ‘revealed’ its design is a sleight of hand. That is because Wisk knows—but does not tell the Court—that Wisk’s application was filed after Archer developed its design. In fact, Wisk’s application was filed after Archer disclosed its design to Wisk.”

“On December 9, 2019, Archer’s founders told Wisk’s chief engineer about the aircraft designs Archer was developing, including tilted rotors on a fixed wing. Wisk’s engineer reported Archer’s plans to Wisk’s CEO and CTO; days later, Wisk ... quickly filed an application that included the very designs Archer had disclosed to Wisk. Wisk mentions none of these admitted facts that conclusively disprove Wisk’s claim of copying, and show that if there is a ‘copycat design’ here, it is not Archer’s aircraft. Yet, Wisk uses the application it created after Archers disclosure and including Archers design as a litigation and media prop to falsely accuse Archer of theft.”

The court filing also states, “Tom Muniz, who was the Vice President of Engineering for Wisk and predecessor entities from May 2017 to December 2019 and now works for Archer, has testified that at the time he left Wisk he ‘was unaware of any development project or efforts by Wisk for a tilting rotor aircraft of any configuration.’”

Forensics Investigation Shows Archer Does Not Have A Single Confidential Wisk Document
Wisk Has No Evidence Xue Retained a Single Document

Archer’s filing states, “Wisk’s motion is predicated on downloads by former Wisk employee, Jing Xue. But Wisk admits that it has no evidence that Xue retained even a single document, let alone brought any to Archer. Wisk ominously claims that ‘Archer’s agent Xue stole thousands of Wisk’s files,’ but Xue downloaded files to his work computer while at Wisk, and Wisk does not even allege that the downloads were improper or outside the scope of his work. Instead, Wisk speculates that Xue may have downloaded files for an improper purpose, and then copied files to a USB drive (though Wisk’s forensics expert admitted there is no evidence), and then retained those files after certifying in writing that he did not, and then brought those files to Archer, and then shared those files with Archer, which then used them to build its aircraft. Literally no evidence exists for any of these assumptions, all of which are necessary to Wisk’s motion. Wisk’s motion is based on rank speculation about what Xue might have done if he were a thief, as Wisk recklessly assumes and publicly declares.”

“More importantly, regardless of Xue’s conduct, this case is against Archer, and there is not a shred of evidence—literally nothing—that Archer received or used any Wisk confidential information at any time about anything. Archer has provided overwhelming, undisputed evidence (sworn declarations and documents) establishing the independent development of its aircraft. Archer conducted an exhaustive forensics investigation for any Wisk data (including all files Xue allegedly downloaded) and determined that not a single confidential Wisk document exists at Archer.”

Later the filing states, “In Xue’s exit interview at Wisk on January 10, 2020, Carlie Russell—the Wisk Senior People Person—asked Xue to sign a termination agreement confirming he was not retaining any Wisk proprietary information, but Xue advised Russell that he could not yet do so because he still had some Wisk files on his personal devices. Russell later emailed Xue and asked him to confirm that ‘all items have been returned and/or removed from [his] personal devices and accounts.’ Xue did exactly that, confirming that, ‘[a]s instructed, all items have been returned and/or removed.’ Xue then signed the termination agreement and Russell was ‘satisfied’ that Xue had done what she asked and ’had no reason to believe that he hadn’t upheld his obligation.”

Wisk Provides No Evidence Whatsoever—Not a Single Document, Not a Single Witness, Nothing—That Archer Received or Used Any Wisk Trade Secret

The filing states, “Wisk provides no evidence whatsoever—not a single document, not a single witness, nothing—that Archer received or used any Wisk trade secret. Archer independently developed its aircraft, working with leading eVTOL consultants and a world-class team of engineers; Archer did not need, did not have, and did not use, anything from Wisk—and there is not one iota of evidence to the contrary. Instead, Wisk’s motion is suffused from top to bottom with misdirection and misrepresentations that preclude the equitable relief it seeks.”

To read the full text of Archer’s most recent court filing and supporting evidence, click here.

About Archer

Archer’s mission is to advance the benefits of sustainable air mobility. Archer’s goal is to move people throughout the world’s cities in a quick, safe, sustainable, and cost-effective manner. Archer is designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for use in Urban Air Mobility that can carry passengers for 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph while producing minimal noise. Archer’s team is based in Palo Alto, CA.

To learn more, visit www.archer.com

Forward Looking Statements

The information in this press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “will,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” “would,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “target,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “may,” “should,” or other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding estimates and forecasts of financial and performance metrics, projections of market opportunity, market share and timeline, expectations and timing related to commercial product launches, expectations regarding potential proceeds from the transaction; Archer’s ability to complete the commercial relationship with United and ultimately deliver and sell aircraft to United under the agreements, Archer eVTOL aircraft’s ability to reduce carbon emissions, potential benefits of the transaction and the potential success of Archer’s go-to-market strategy, and expectations related to the terms and timing of the transaction. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of Archer’s and Atlas Crest’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on by any investor as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of the Company. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the early-stage nature of Archer’s business and its past and projected future losses; Archer’s ability to manufacture and deliver aircraft and its impact on the risk of investment; Archer’s dependence on United Airlines for its current aircraft orders and development process, and the risk that United Airlines cancels its contracts with Archer; risks relating to the uncertainty of the projections included in the model; the effectiveness of Archer’s marketing and growth strategies, including its ability to effectively market air transportation as a substitute for conventional methods of transportation; Archer’s ability to compete in the competitive urban air mobility and eVTOL industries; Archer’s ability to obtain expected or required certifications, licenses, approvals, and authorizations from transportation authorities; Archer’s ability to achieve its business milestones and launch products on anticipated timelines; Archer’s dependence on suppliers and service partners for the parts and components in its aircraft; Archer’s ability to develop commercial-scale manufacturing capabilities; regulatory requirements and other obstacles outside of Archer’s control that slow market adoption of electric aircraft, such as Archer’s inability to obtain and maintain adequate facilities and Vertiport infrastructure; Archer’s ability to hire, train and retain qualified personnel; risks related to Archer’s Aerial Ride Sharing Business operating in densely populated metropolitan areas and heavily regulated airports; adverse publicity from accidents involving aircraft, helicopters or lithium-ion battery cells; the impact of labor and union activities on Archer’s work force; losses resulting from indexed price escalation clauses in purchase orders and cost overruns; regulatory risks related to evolving laws and regulations in Archer’s industries; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Archer’s business and the global economy; the inability of the parties to successfully or timely consummate the proposed business combination, including the risk that any required regulatory approvals are not obtained, are delayed or are subject to unanticipated conditions that could adversely affect the combined company or the expected benefits of the proposed business combination or that the approval of the stockholders of Atlas Crest or Archer is not obtained; a decline in Archer’s securities following the business combination if it fails to meet the expectations of investors or securities analysts; Archer’s inability to protect intellectual property rights from unauthorized use by third parties; Archer’s need for and the availability of additional capital; cybersecurity risks; the dual class structure of Archer’s common stock, which will limit other investors’ ability to influence corporate matters; the amount of redemption requests made by Atlas Crest’s public stockholders; the ability of Atlas Crest or the combined company to issue equity or equity-linked securities in connection with the proposed business combination or in the future, and those factors discussed in Atlas Crest’s final prospectus filed on October 29, 2020, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, in each case, under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents of Atlas Crest filed, or to be filed, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). If any of these risks materialize or if the Company’s assumption prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that neither Atlas Crest nor Archer presently know or that Atlas Crest and Archer currently believe are immaterial that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. In addition, forward-looking statements reflect Atlas Crest’s and Archer’s expectations, plans or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. Atlas Crest and Archer anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause Atlas Crest’s and Archer’s assessments to change. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Atlas Crest and Archer assume no obligation and do not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Neither Atlas Crest nor Archer gives any assurance that either Atlas Crest or Archer will achieve its expectations.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210624006002/en/

CONTACT: Sitrick And Company

Los Angeles

Mike Sitrick

mike_sitrick@sitrick.com

Terry Fahn

(310) 614-9995

terry__fahn@sitrick.com

New York

Rich Wilner

(917) 952-8023

Rwilner@sitrick.comArcher

Louise Bristow

(818) 398-8091

louise.bristow@archer.com

KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING AIR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES TRANSPORT

SOURCE: Archer

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 06/25/2021 04:50 PM/DISC: 06/25/2021 04:51 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210624006002/en