Netgear's Lawsuit Alleging Asus of False Advertising Can Proceed, Judge Says

Paul Lilly

Netgear accuses Asus of Wi-Fi chicanery

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston denied Asus' request to dismiss a lawsuit brought on by Netgear accusing the company of reporting misleading information related to the signal strength of its wireless routers, which if true would be in violation of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations. Asus' motion to dismiss was scheduled for a hearing, but Judge Illston denied the motion last Thursday.

"Netgear can prove its claims by showing that defendants falsely advertised that their products met FCC standards, either by submitting falsified test results or by altering their wireless routers after testing," Judge Illston wrote, according to . "Proving these allegations does not risk undercutting the agency’s expert judgments and authority because plaintiff’s allegations do not implicate the FCC’s determinations or require the court to interpret ambiguous FCC regulations."

Netgear sued Asus back in July claiming that the output strength and other measurements that Asus supplied to the FCC in its filings were either falsified or otherwise fraudulent. Two routers are named in the suit -- the RT-N65U and RT-AC66U. Netgear believes Asus conspired with QuieTek Corporation, an independent testing laboratory, to submit false test results to the FCC as part of a plan to eliminate competition in the router space.

As a result of allegedly having a signal strength higher than the FCC allows, Netgear says it was harmed by false representations that that led some to proclaim Asus' routers to be "more powerful than Netgear's competing products, and thus providing a broader reaching range and more stable wireless connection under certain circumstances," according to court documents.

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