Archer Aviation is in search of $1B in damages from Wisk Aero as authorized dispute escalates – TechCrunch

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Archer Aviation is in search of $1 billion in damages from Wisk Aero, based on court docket filings Tuesday, considerably escalating the continued authorized battle between the 2 air taxi rivals.

Wisk “deployed a knowingly false extra-judicial smear marketing campaign that projected stand-alone defamatory statements about Archer to the world,” the submitting says. On this foundation, Archer claims that this “smear marketing campaign” has negatively impacted its skill to entry capital and has impaired enterprise relationships, leading to damages “prone to exceed $1 billion.”

The 2 corporations have been locked in a heated authorized battle for a lot of this 12 months. The dispute began in April, when Wisk filed a go well with with the U.S. District Court docket for the Northern District of California claiming that Archer had misappropriated its commerce secrets and techniques associated to Wisk’s debut eVTOL plane, Cora. Wisk additional alleged {that a} former worker, Jing Xue, downloaded 1000’s of proprietary information from his work laptop previous to becoming a member of Archer.

This isn’t the primary time that Archer has hit again towards the accusations in court docket. First it filed a movement to dismiss the go well with in early June, and later that month alleged in a separate court docket doc that Archer’s design was well-established previous to Wisk’s having filed any patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace.

Archer unveiled a prototype of its Maker plane in February, the identical month that it introduced (to a lot fanfare) it was going public by way of a merger with blank-check agency Atlas Crest Funding Corp. for a pro-forma enterprise worth of $2.7 billion. Late final month Archer slashed its valuation by $1 billion in a “strategic reset” of the transaction phrases with the SPAC. Whereas this is identical quantity Archer is in search of in damages, an organization spokesperson instructed TechCrunch that’s simply coincidental.

As well as, the spokesperson added that the deliberate merger stays on monitor. Chatting with the go well with, they stated, “We have now no plans to drop our counter-claim no matter any strikes Wisk might make.”

A Wisk spokesperson stated “Archer’s counterclaim is ludicrous and its troubles are purely self-inflicted,” and characterised the submitting as “stuffed with distortions and distractions from the intense patent and commerce secret misappropriation claims it faces.” The spokesperson added that Wisk intends to proceed its case towards Archer.

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