I'm really interested to see what comes of all this .

On April 15, 2009, the Amsterdam-based N2IT Holding B.V., whose CEO is techno and house music pioneer John Acquaviva, filed a complaint in U.S. federal court against M-Audio.

The complaint alleges that M-Audio's Torq/Conectiv line of digital DJ products infringes on patented N2IT technology. N2IT holds patents for technology that, in 1998, led to the first digital vinyl system (DVS), FinalScratch, which Stanton later bought.

Kurosh Nasseri, an attorney working with N2IT, mentioned that N2IT offered to license its technology to M-Audio before filing its complaint. "N2IT approached [M-Audio] asking them to take a license in light of the patent," Nasseri says. "Those discussions were not fruitful, leaving N2IT with little choice but to file a complaint."

M-Audio Marketing Manager Richard Ngo-Tran said that someone representing N2IT contacted him more than a year ago about the patent issue. However, M-Audio's legal counsel says only that “our position is that we do not comment on pending litigation.”

This is not the first time N2IT has filed a patent infringement complaint against another company. In May 2007, N2IT filed a similar complaint against Native Instruments (NI), alleging that NI's Traktor Scratch infringed on N2IT's patents.

Although Stanton FinalScratch made its commercial debut in 2002, N2IT's patents are dated March 14, 2006, and July 3, 2007. "Patents take some time to get finalized and to get issued," Nasseri says. "But, now, the patent's in place in Europe and here in the U.S., so that's in essence what this is about."

Nearly a year after N2IT's filing of the complaint against Native Instruments, N2IT and NI announced on April 25, 2008, that NI had licensed N2IT technology for the Traktor Scratch system and related products.

The NI precedent suggests that a similar set of events may occur between N2IT and M-Audio. "We've served them with the complaint, and they're supposed to file their answer in the next week," says Timothy A. Molino, an attorney at the law firm Bingham, which is also working with N2IT on the M-Audio case. Molino added that the alleged infringer usually denies any wrongdoing, at which point a legal process begins that usually takes eight to nine months before going to trial.

When asked how often these sorts of cases are settled out of court, Molino says, "More often than not."

Interestingly, N2IT has not filed any complaints against one of, if not the, DVS market leader, Serato Scratch Live by Rane. "Right now, we're focused on M-Audio," Molino says.

For a summary/time line of DVS legal history through 2008, see this Create Digital Music story: NI Ends Legal Dispute Over Traktor Scratch; Digital Vinyl’s Twisty, Turny History.