Piper Aircraft is suing eVTOL aircraft startup Archer Aviation for alleged infringement of the trademark covering its Archer family of piston-engined light aircraft. In a case filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, where California-based Archer was incorporated, Piper will argue that the use of the name for the four-seat, fixed-wing eVTOL infringes its federally-registered trademark and also its legal rights in Florida, where the long-standing general aviation manufacturer is headquartered.
Archer Aviation founder Brett Adcock told FutureFlight he had no comment to make on the lawsuit. Along with cofounder Adam Goldstein, he announced the formation of the eVTOL venture in May 2020.
The former Piper Aircraft Corporation first introduced the Archer model in 1976 and its lawsuit maintains it has used the trademark continuously since then. It says that the trademark was acquired by the new owners of the company after it emerged from bankruptcy protection in 1995.
In 2019, Piper says it sold 189 Archer aircraft and that it expects to log around 147 more sales this year, and recently made the 5,000th delivery of the four-seater model. Current versions of the aircraft include the Archer LX, which features a 180-hp Lycoming engine and a Garmin G1000 NXi avionics suite, and the diesel-powered DLX.
Archer Aviation has not yet announced the name of its planned all-electric eVTOL model. The company has financial backing from Walmart eCommerce CEO Marc Lore.