Wisk Sues Archer, Alleging eVTOL Patent Infringement

 - April 6, 2021, 12:48 PM
Wisk Aero alleges that an eVTOL aircraft design unveiled by Archer in February 2021 is based on its own design for which it filed a patent application in January 2020. (Image: Wisk Aero)

Wisk Aero today filed a lawsuit against rival eVTOL aircraft developer Archer Aviation for alleged theft of trade secrets and patent infringement. The case, filed in the U.S. federal court for the Northern District of California, seeks an injunction to stop the use of what Wisk says is its intellectual property and “other remedies” against Archer.

In the filing, Wisk alleges that it discovered suspicious file downloads by “certain former employees” who left the company to work for Archer. It said they included thousands of files related to Wisk’s confidential designs for aircraft, components, and systems, as well as manufacturing and test data.

More specifically, Wisk’s lawsuit claims that an aircraft design recently published by Archer appears to be a copy of a design for which Wisk submitted a confidential patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in January 2020. This design was published in conjunction with the recent announcement of Archer’s plans for an IPO merger with special purpose acquisition company Atlas Crest Corp.

Commenting on the lawsuit, Archer said, "The plaintiff raised these matters over a year ago, and after looking into them thoroughly, we have no reason to believe any proprietary Wisk technology ever made its way to Archer. We intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”

A longer version of this story is available at FutureFlight.aero, a news and information resource developed by AIN to provide objective, independent coverage and analysis of cutting-edge aviation technology, including electric aircraft developments and advanced air mobility.