According to reports, a trial has begun at the Los Angeles Supreme Court Friday after entrepreneur Steven Lamar claims to be left out on $100 million dollar in royalties from Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine & the Beats Headphones.
Lamar, who’s suing the trio, claims it was him who proposed a line of celebrity-endorsed headphones to Dr. Dre & Iovine back in 2006 that was based on a design by Robert Brunner, a renowned industrial designer.
However the guys had a fallen out in the early years, which left Dre and Iovine to sue Lamar for breaching contract. This prior lawsuit then led to a settlement where Lamar relinquished rights in exchange for a four percent royalty on every headphone sold by Monster and its affiliates. After the settlement, Beats released new headphone models and began paying a two percent royalty to Brunner until sometime in 2014 when Beats bought out Brunner’s interest. Dre and Iovine would later sell Beats to Apple for $3 billion.
The question that remains is whether Lamar is due royalties for the later derivative versions of Beats headphones or whether the defendants fulfilled its obligations by merely paying him for the first headphone model.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the courts have to say.