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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Wisk Looks Ahead to Holding Archer Accountable at Trial

July 22, 2021 GMT
Wisk logo (PRNewsfoto/Wisk.aero)
Wisk logo (PRNewsfoto/Wisk.aero)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wisk Aero, a leading Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company and developer of the first all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the U.S., today issued a statement regarding its lawsuit against Archer Aviation.

Judge Orrick stated in a hearing yesterday that Wisk “has many reasons that make it suspect there is a problem here” and today again acknowledged “arguable indications of misappropriation” by Archer. Today’s decision regarding preliminary relief has no bearing on the outcome of the case and does not exonerate Archer in the least. We are in the very early stages of a long legal process, with in-depth evidence-gathering now to begin, and we fully intend to hold Archer accountable at trial.

From our very limited discovery to date, the evidence that has already been uncovered includes:

  • An engineer downloaded thousands of files shortly before leaving Wisk to join Archer. When cross-examined about the files (what files he took, what use he made of them, and whether he still has access to them), that engineer pleaded the Fifth Amendment due to a pending federal criminal investigation
  • Wisk confidential files/IP have been found in the possession of other Archer employees
  • Archer’s SPAC sponsor, Atlas Crest Investment Corp. (NYSE: ACIC), admitted in its July 1 amended S-4 that Archer and three of its employees received grand jury subpoenas from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California
  • Archer claims to have created the conceptual design for its aircraft, including all of the subsystems, in only seven weeks - that short period is unheard of, according to outside aviation experts
  • Expert testimony shows Wisk’s trade secrets pervade Archer’s aircraft development
  • Archer’s aircraft design was called ‘cora + tilt’ – ‘Cora’ being a reference to Wisk’s well publicized, fifth-generation aircraft

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We brought this lawsuit based on strong indications of theft and use of Wisk’s IP, and the initial limited evidence gathered through the court process to date only confirms our belief that Archer’s misappropriation of Wisk’s trade secrets is widespread and pervades Archer’s aircraft development. Following today’s ruling, Wisk will be allowed to begin collecting evidence in earnest. We will follow the evidence to where it leads, and stand firm in our years-long commitment to pursuing eVTOL development the right way -- guided by innovation, integrity and trust.

We have an obligation to protect our talented team’s hard work, and a duty to help ensure the responsible development of the industry we helped to create. We are confident in our position and the evidence uncovered thus far and look forward to the next stages of the case.

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Wisk filed suit against Archer in April 2021. The lawsuit includes claims for patent infringement, as well as misappropriation of trade secrets that span a range from aircraft, component and system designs to manufacturing and test data. Following today’s ruling on Wisk’s request for a preliminary injunction, the case will now move to further evidence discovery and then trial. We intend to vigorously pursue the case in court. A date for the trial has not yet been set.

ABOUT WISK

Wisk is an urban air mobility company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone. Wisk’s self-flying, eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi, will make it possible for passengers to skip the traffic and get to their destination faster. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and New Zealand, Wisk is an independent company backed by The Boeing Company and Kitty Hawk Corporation. With over a decade of experience and over 1500 test flights, Wisk is shaping the future of daily commutes and urban travel, safely and sustainably.

For more information, visit wisk.aero.

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SOURCE Wisk Aero