Judge rejects Wisk Aero’s efforts to prevent competing air taxi operator Archer from using stolen patents


A San Francisco federal judge dismissed the launch of an air taxi Wisk Aero’s request for a preliminary injunction against rival startup Archer Aviation as Silicon Valley’s first big “flying car” legal drama heats up.

The joint venture between Boisk and Kitty Hawk, Wisk, wanted to prevent Archer Aviation from using anything According to it, 52 stolen trade secrets were stolen. Wisk is also seeking unspecified pecuniary damages from Archer in a lawsuit filed on April 6th. Federal investigators are also investigating the case.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick wrote in his decision that Wisk’s request was “too uncertain and unambiguous,” although he admitted that “there were some reasonable indications of abuse.”

Archer celebrated the decision by blowing up Wisk’s trial as unworthy. “It is clear from the record that Wisk has not provided any evidence – no documents or any witnesses – that Archer has ever obtained or used any of Wisk’s trade secrets,” said Eric Lentell, Archer’s assistant adviser. opinion. “Wisk’s accusations of massive thefts are based entirely on conspiracy theories and outright misrepresentations of the real record.”

Archer argues that the evidence presented in the case shows that its 12-rotor, battery-powered Maker aircraft was designed “independently and well in advance of Wisk’s efforts to develop a similar eVTOL [electric vertical and takeoff] aircraft. ”Sagittarius officially published its demonstration plane at an event in Los Angeles last month.

In his lawsuit, Wisk alleged that former employee Jing Xue erroneously downloaded nearly 5,000 data files to a personal device he later gave to Archer when he joined the company in January 2020. Lentell claims Wisk is trying to disgrace Xue as a poster child’s stolen theft. promised a fifth amendment against self-blame, citing a federal investigation into the case. Archer has placed Xue on administrative leave.

Photo: Wisk.aero

Despite the setback, Wisk says he plans to take his case to the jury trial. “We are at an early stage in a long legal process,” the spokesman said opinion, “A thorough gathering of evidence must now begin, and we intend to hold Archer fully accountable in the trial.”

Archer was founded by Adam Goldstein and Brett Adcock, founders of the service company Vettery, who both sold to the Swiss staffing company Adecco Group in 2018 for $ 100 million. The company came from the theft in the spring of 2020 after poaching key talent from Wisk, owned by Boeing and Kitty Hawk, a flying taxi company. Google founder Larry Page.

But Wisk claims Archer not only stole his talent – it also steals trade secrets. Wisk has accused Archer of abusing “thousands of highly confidential files containing highly valuable trade secrets, as well as the use of significant innovations patented by Wisk.”

Air taxis, sometimes misidentified as “flying cars,” are essentially helicopters without noisy, polluting gas engines. In recent years, several startups have emerged with prototype aircraft that are electrically powered, capable of carrying a handful of passengers, and designed for short flights in the city or region. Analysts predict that the flying taxi market could grow to $ 150 billion in revenue by 2035.

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