Thursday, September 23, 2021

Archer Wins; Defeats Wisk’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction

  • Judge denies Wisk’s motion for preliminary injunction against Archer
  • Judge finds Wisk’s evidence too uncertain and equivocal 

PALO ALTO, Calif, July, 2021 – A federal judge in San Francisco today denied Wisk’s request for a preliminary injunction against rival Archer. The court determined that Wisk failed to make its case -“Wisk has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits that defendant Archer Aviation Inc. has misappropriated its particular asserted trade secrets.” Click here to read the ruling. The ruling reinforces what Archer has said all along–Wisk did not have a good faith basis to bring this lawsuit and did not file the litigation to defend or protect any legitimate intellectual property rights

“The record makes it clear that Wisk has provided no evidence—not a single document, not a single witness—that Archer ever received or used any Wisk trade secret,” Archer’s Deputy General Counsel, Eric Lentell said. “Wisk’s charges of massive theft are based entirely on conspiracy theories and outright misrepresentations of the actual record.”

“Contrary to the story Wisk crafted, the evidence in this case has also made it clear that Archer, with input from its outside expert design consultant, evaluated and selected the 12-tilt-6 design of its Maker demonstrator aircraft independently, and well in advance of any effort by Wisk to develop a similar eVTOL aircraft,” he said. “Indeed, Wisk evidenced no interest in developing such an aircraft until after learning about Archer’s design in an Archer recruiting meeting in December 2019. Then Wisk rushed to file a provisional patent application that depicted but did not claim to have invented the 12-tilt-6 configuration that Archer disclosed to it.  Wisk argued—to both law enforcement authorities and the Court—that the patent application provided evidence of wrongdoing by Archer. But the court’s ruling today rejected that argument, holding instead that “Wisk has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits that defendant Archer Aviation Inc. has misappropriated its particular asserted trade secrets.”  Wisk’s evidence was “too uncertain and equivocal.”

Mr. Lentell continued, “What is equally clear is that Wisk’s nefarious attempts to paint their former engineer Dr. Jing Xue as the poster child for the covert theft of Wisk’s trade secrets have failed on all accounts. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.” 

“The goal of Boeing-backed startup Wisk, with its lawsuit has always been an improper and malicious attempt to disrupt Archer’s momentum, as a means to compensate for its own lack of success. Wisk has lacked a focus on bringing to market aircraft that were commercially viable. 

Recognizing that Archer and others were intent on making eVTOL aircraft a reality of urban transportation, Wisk is now abusing the judicial and criminal justice system in hopes that a court can help Wisk slow down the pace of innovation while Wisk struggles to keep up. At a time when our President is taking aim at just these kinds of anti-competitive tactics by big business, we find this deeply disturbing,” Mr. Lentell added.  “We will continue to vigorously defend Archer and our employees against these baseless allegations.”