NEW YORK CITY -- A federal judge ruled in favor of TouchTunes in its patent infringement lawsuit with Arachnid Inc., which had alleged that TouchTunes infringed its computer jukebox patents.
The lawsuit began in 2007, according to TouchTunes, the nation's largest digital jukebox company. At that time, TouchTunes said it would vigorously defend its reputation and its own original, patented technology. The judge had previously dismissed several of Arachnid's patents for non-infringement and recently determined that the jukebox company had not violated any of the remaining patents in the lawsuit. TouchTunes called the court's decision a "complete victory."
"This court ruling fully vindicates us," said TouchTunes president and chief executive Charles Goldstuck. "TouchTunes has a proud history of developing unique and innovative products, and has always respected the intellectual property rights of others. As a leader in this industry, we will always vigorously defend ourselves against any unwarranted claims like those lodged in the failed Arachnid lawsuit."
Arachnid's founder, John Martin, was an inventor of many technologies associated with electronic darts, music downloading and touchscreen games. His company is a leading developer of electronic dart machines. Its patents describing a downloading jukebox, and related functions on a digital touchscreen jukebox, were filed in the early 1990s. The company announced plans for a downloading jukebox in the mid-1990s, but never introduced such a product.
Arachnid filed its first patent infringement lawsuit against TouchTunes Music Corp. in 1998, but in 1999 it dismissed the suit "with prejudice." Arachnid updated its initial patents based on discovery of prior art presented during earlier litigation, re-filed for new patents in 2000 and was issued those new patents in 2002.
Over the course of a rocky legal landscape since TouchTunes rolled out the first digital jukebox in 1998, the company has so far established a presence in more than 60,000 bars and restaurants. Patrons play an average two million songs a day on the TouchTunes network; the company is second only to iTunes in volume of paid music downloads.