(Reuters) – Archer Aviation, an airline taxi developer whose investors include United Airlines, asked a California judge on Tuesday to dismiss a "baseless" lawsuit from rival Wisk Aero and vice versa over "false statements" regarding a criminal probe.
Archer and Wisk compete in the competitive but unproven market for electric vertical takeoff and landing craft, or eVTOL, which aims to revolutionize urban air mobility with vehicles that take off as helicopters and fly as aircraft.
Wisk, formed by a joint venture between Boeing and Google founder Larry Pay's Kitty Hawk Corp., accused Archer in April of stealing trade secrets and infringing on its patents.
"Wisk does not even identify a single Wisk trade secret ever used by, or even known to, Archer," the company said in an application to the Northern District of California District Court.
It called Wisk's patent claims "equally disqualified and inappropriate" and evidence identified details including drawings and analyzes from a third party consultant which it claims are evidence of the independent creation of its aircraft design.
Archer also filed lawsuits alleging that Wisk was involved in a media campaign to harm the company and disrupt its chances of success when it wrote in a blog post, telling the media that the FBI and the US Department of Justice are conducting a criminal investigation into Archer.
"It is a false statement that Wisk knew or should have shown was wrong when Wisk published it and it remains untrue today," says Archer.
A spokeswoman for Wisk said that Archer's archiving "confirms the strength of Wisk's claims", adding: "We believe that Archer's business is based on Wisk's intellectual property described in our archives, and we look forward to continuing with our goal.
Wisk's lawsuit was filed two months after Archer announced plans to announce through a $ 3.8 billion merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corp., a special purpose acquisition company.
Last week, Atlas Crest filed a lawsuit. that Archer and some of its employees who previously worked for Wisk "are involved in a federal investigation that examines Archer's employment methods and intellectual property rights." Catalog