Intellectual property lawsuits are not uncommon in rapidly evolving and promising industries – as Mr Page well knows. In a recent case, Waymo, a company of Google’s parent company Alphabet, accused one of his former employees and Uber of stealing trade secrets to gain an advantage in the race to develop autonomous cars. The companies settled the case in 2018, and former Waymo employee Anthony Levandowski, a one-time confidante of Mr. Page, was Sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2020. Former President Donald J. Trump excused him in January.

Archer announced its merger with a SPAC, Atlas Crest Investment, in February valued the company at $ 3.8 billion. Wisk said his suspicions were confirmed at the time Archer was released a presentation that contained designs similar to those of a Wisk patent application.

Wisk says his Cora plane can fly a pair of passengers about 25 miles at a speed of about 100 miles per hour. Archer says it is developing an aircraft that can carry up to four people on a 60-mile journey and that can travel at 150 mph. Both aircraft are designed to fly autonomously.

It’s unclear whether Wisk raised concerns in Atlas’ review of Archer before the two reached an agreement. The SPAC is backed by a subsidiary of investment bank Moelis & Company, which relied on its bankers and others to help Vet Archer, the bank’s founder, Ken Moelis, told the New York Times in an interview when announcing the transaction.

“We had 35, 40 people with us – and we attacked this like growth companies or anyone else would,” said Moelis. “And we did it quickly too.”

A spokeswoman for Moelis declined to comment.

Other companies trying to make electric aircraft are Joby Aviation, which a $ 6.6 billion deal with a SPAC led by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman in February and the German start-up Liliumthat went public Last month by merging with a SPAC led by Barry Engle, a former General Motors CEO.

These deals are only a small part of SPAC’s activity this year as investors, celebrities and athletes have participated in Wall Street’s new favorite toy. To date, 299 SPACs have raised $ 97 billion this year. according to SPAC Research – more than in all of 2020.

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