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Ruckus kicks off over directional Wi-Fi

Netgear slapped with patent suit

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Wi-fi co Ruckus reckons Netgear has been fitting its directional Wi-Fi technology to more routers than it ought, and has slapped the company with a patent-infringement suit.

Netgear did have a licence for Ruckus's BeamFlex technology, but only for use in some of its RangeMax routers. Ruckus considers that the RangeMax WPN 824v3 is using the technology without permission, and without paying appropriate royalties.

Smart Wi-Fi, as Ruckus now calls its technology, works by fitting each access point with 12 antennae pointed in different directions. These are used dependent on the location of the device communicating with the access point. This means they're always using a directional antenna - improving range and capacity at the cost of a more expensive access point, as it has to constantly monitor connections and switch between antennae.

Anything that improves Wi-Fi capacity is enormously valuable, and Ruckus has more than 70 patents granted or pending to protect its investment, two of which they say Netgear is breaching. The company is looking for an injunction to stop Netgear selling the product, as well as damages and royalties owed. ®

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