Archer Aviation’s attorneys have filed another brief aimed at blocking Wisk Aero’s motion for a preliminary injunction regarding Wisk's allegations that the rival eVTOL aircraft developer stole its trade secrets. That motion is due to be heard by judge William Orrick in the federal court for the Northern District of California on July 21.
Archer's new brief, filed late on July 19, pushes back against a July 14 one from Wisk. In that brief, Wisk argued that documents obtained through the disclosure process and via depositions prove that Archer and various employees misappropriated trade secrets for its new eVTOL design “on a massive scale.” Archer's July 19 response reiterates its insistence that it has not used or had access to trade secrets allegedly misappropriated by former Wisk employees.
The Archer legal team forcefully refuted Wisk's allegations based on what it says has been an “extensive, expedited discovery process.” It accuses Wisk of making “knowingly false” accusations and urges the judge to rule against the preliminary injunction motion, which it says amounts to a new motion for injunctive relief on the basis that Wisk has not proven any “established imminent, irreparable harm.”
According to Archer, Wisk’s legal team is now downplaying earlier groundless allegations based on factors such as the speed at which Archer has developed its Maker eVTOL demonstrator and apparent similarities with Wisk’s patent application for a “sixth-generation” eVTOL design.
“The filing makes it clear that Wisk has provided no evidence whatsoever—not a single document, not a single witness—that Archer ever received or used any Wisk trade secret, because, in fact, Archer never has,” Archer said in a written statement. “Instead, Wisk continues to level grave charges of massive theft based entirely on conspiracy theories and outright misrepresentations of the actual record.”
The redacted version of the brief posted online by Archer does provide some fresh insights into testimony gathered through the pre-trial discovery process. These include some details regarding propulsion system technology for the rival eVTOL programs.
"Faced with mounting evidence of widespread IP theft, Archer has still offered no clear defense or credible explanation of its aircraft development timeline," said a spokesman for Wisk. "Their only response has been a series of shifting narratives to try to discredit Wisk, a recognized decade-long industry leader. Archer's baseless PR attacks don't change the facts."