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You are here: Wireless Wireless Features Uh Oh: Netgear and Rayspan's Metamaterial Antennas Not That New?

Uh Oh: Netgear and Rayspan's Metamaterial Antennas Not That New?

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The short story is that Netgear has been paying Ruckus royalties on its original WPN824 RangeMax router [reviewed], to the tune of about 2 million routers to date. Figure 1 shows the original WPN824 board (Video54 was Ruckus Wireless' original company name.)

Original WPN824 board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: Original WPN824 board

At the end of last October, a version 3 of the product appeared in the FCC ID database and caught Ruckus' attention. Figure 2 shows a photo of the v3 board. (The red-outlined areas are the trouble-making antennas.

WPN824 v3 board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: WPN824 v3 board

The new antenna design uses "metamaterial" antennas developed by Netgear's new antenna design partner Rayspan, which is why they are also named in the suit.

According to GigaOm:

In February, Ruckus’ president and CEO Selina Lo met with Netgear’s chairman and CEO, Patrick Lo, to discuss the new model. According to the suit, Netgear informed Ruckus it had begun selling the newest model in place of the ones that generated royalties for Ruckus. Netgear also indicated it would discontinue the manufacture and sale of its earlier RangeMax models by end of 2008, and Ruckus would not receive any licensing royalty revenue from sales of latest model.

The suit alleges that in the development of the WPN 824v3 wireless router, NETGEAR and Rayspan infringed two Wi-Fi patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,358,912 and 7,193,562) granted to Ruckus. (One patent was granted last year, the other only a few weeks ago.)

Ruckus is seeking a permanent injunction that bars NETGEAR and Rayspan from "making, using, importing, offering to sell or selling the allegedly infringing products", as well as "damages and reasonable royalties" from sales of the RangeMax WPN 824v3.

The release also notes that Ruckus may be seeking to block sales of other products using Rayspan's metamaterial technologies. This would include the new draft 802.11n WNDR3300 RangeMax Dual-Band Wireless N Router [previewed] and WNR3500 RangeMax Wireless- N Gigabit Router [details].

Ruckus' press release is here.


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