Ruckus Wireless Wins Netgear Patent Infringement Case

November.05.2013

Orrick secured a significant victory on behalf of Ruckus Wireless, Inc., an innovator and world leader in Wi-Fi access points.  On October 31, 2013, a Delaware federal jury returned a verdict for Ruckus, finding that Ruckus’ Wi-Fi access points did not infringe plaintiff NETGEAR, Inc.’s U.S. Patents No. 6,621,454 and 7,263,143.  The ’454 and ’143 patents generally involve technology for detecting, diagnosing, and then mitigating periodic interference in wireless communication devices.

NETGEAR had been a licensee of Ruckus, using Ruckus’ award-winning and patented technology in NETGEAR’s own Wi-Fi access points.  In 2008, however, Ruckus sued NETGEAR for patent infringement in the Northern District of California, alleging that NETGEAR infringed Ruckus’ patents covering adaptive Wi-Fi antennas.

In 2010, three months after purchasing the ’454 and ’143 patents from Adaptix Corporation., NETGEAR sued Ruckus for patent infringement in the District of Delaware.  NETGEAR alleged that Ruckus’ Wi-Fi access points equipped with Ruckus’ BeamFlex and ChannelFly technology infringed the ’454 and ’143 patents.  NETGEAR also asserted claims for induced infringement and contributory infringement, alleging that Ruckus knowingly and intentionally caused Ruckus’ customers to infringe the asserted patents.  NETGEAR accused nearly forty Ruckus products of patent infringement, including Ruckus’ ZoneFlex, MediaFlex, and MetroFlex products.  Among the various disputes between Netgear and Ruckus, the 2010 case was the first case to go to trial. In the 2010 lawsuit, the Court bifurcated trial, splitting liability and damages.

Ruckus was represented by several law firms in the various lawsuits between Netgear and Ruckus.  Orrick was hired seven weeks before trial to try the 2010 case.  At that point, Orrick had not met a single Ruckus witness, had not met any of the experts, and had no familiarity with the case.

In its simplest form, the case was a fight between marketing documents describing technology and technology documents that actually performed the tasks at issue. During trial, NETGEAR relied heavily on marketing documents – e.g. fliers, PowerPoint presentations, white papers, and data sheets disclosed to the public – in an attempt to show that Ruckus’ products infringed the asserted patents.  NETGEAR, in particular, focused on statements in Ruckus’ marketing material that purported to describe how Ruckus’ Wi-Fi access points functioned.

Ruckus, through the Orrick team, took a different approach.  It presented a compelling case through Ruckus’ founders and a careful review of the source code that drove the technology at issue.

The Delaware jury returned a verdict of non-infringement for Ruckus, finding that NETGEAR failed to establish that any of the Ruckus accused products infringed the asserted claims of the ’454 and ’143 patents.

The Orrick team included IP litigation partners Neel Chatterjee, Nagendra Setty, Denise Mingrone and Bas de Blank and IP litigation associates Misasha Suzuki, Andrew Ong, Kieran Kieckhefer and Jake Heath.