Archer has filed its Answer to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and a Motion to Dismiss the ongoing lawsuit with Wisk, which alleges Archer stole trade secrets and patent infringements of its eVTOL aircraft design.

In the answer, Archer details information and says it developed its ’12 tilt 6′ design through an independent eVTOL consultant, before any Wisk employees ever joined Archer.

The company has also filed counterclaims for tortious interference and unfair competition, alleging Wisk made false and unsupported public statements outside of the litigation designed to harm Archer.

In a press release announcing the update, the company said: “Wisk’s Complaint does not identify a single specific Wisk trade secret, let alone any evidence of misappropriation. Furthermore, there also is nothing secret about using 12 rotors on a fixed wing, tilting rotors, or a V tail.

“Wisk’s patent claims are equally meritless and improper; Archer does not infringe Wisk’s patents, and Wisk has no basis to allege otherwise.

As detailed in the Answer, Archer has said it designed its aircraft independently, working with FlightHouse Engineering which was hired in September 2019. It added FlightHouse first modeled the ’12 tilt 6′ design before any former Wisk employees joined Archer, and Archer’s Answer includes several examples of FlightHouse’s drawings and analysis.

The company added: “This lawsuit was filed by Wisk for an obvious and impermissible purpose: to impede the success of, and investment in, Archer and its state-of-the-art aircraft design.

“This case has nothing to do with the design of Archer’s aircraft, and everything to do with the success of Archer’s business – and the failure of Wisk’s. Wisk and its predecessors have suffered from years of disorganisation and failed design, as well as employee defections, and Wisk is now improperly attempting to weaponise the legal system to achieve through bad faith litigation what it cannot accomplish through fair competition.”

In response to Archer’s update, a Wisk spokesperson said: “Archer’s filing confirms the strength of Wisk’s claims, and changes nothing about the case – it contains no substantive response to the allegations Archer misappropriated more than 50 specific Wisk trade secrets, which were disclosed in a court filing last month and cover multiple components, systems, and designs for the aircraft.

“Tellingly, Archer cannot deny that thousands of files were stolen from Wisk by current Archer employees, which contain confidential information especially relevant to the design Archer has touted. And Archer’s filing has no plausible explanation for its development timeline. Wisk brought this suit to protect over a decade of investment, innovation, and work by Wisk’s talented team, who continue to lead the eVTOL industry forward.

“We believe Archer’s business is built on Wisk’s intellectual property as detailed in our filings, and we look forward to proceeding with our case.”

Archer is currently developing its eVTOL aircraft, which has a range of 60 miles travelling at speeds of 150mph. The company is planning to reveal the full design later this year and has already announced plans to create urban air mobility networks in Los Angeles and Miami.

To read the full text of Archer’s Answer and Counterclaims, click here. To read the full text of Archer’s Motion to Dismiss, click here.