Beats Headphone Ripp Off Apple Ordered To Pay $25M
After settling a major dispute with Samsung, a US Court has ruled that the Apple owned Beats Electronics does owe $25 million in royalties to one of the early designers of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones.
Overnight a jury found that rapper Dr. Dre and Interscope Records’ Jimmy Iovine had denied Steven Lamar a developer of the Beats headphone a cut in the sales of the successful headphone brand.
Lamar claimed that in January 2006, he took his idea for high-quality headphones with an iconic design and promoted by a well-known musician to Iovine, who proposed Andre Young, the producer and rapper known as Dr. Dre., as the celebrity to endorse the headsets. Lamar said he worked on the concept and design of the Beats headphones until a falling out with the Beats founders in 2006 that prompted them to sue him for breach of contract.
“The jury’s verdict reflects Mr. Lamar’s contribution to the origin of the Beats by Dr. Dre headphones product line,” his lawyer, Brian Melton, said in a telephone interview
Under the subsequent settlement, Lamar alleged, he signed over the rights to the Beats design in exchange for royalties on all models that were derived from the design he worked on, not just the Studio model first sold in 2008.
The jury awarded him royalties on the later Studio models of the Beats headphones, but not on other models, according to his lawyer. Since the claim was for breach of contract, Lamar is entitled to interest and attorney fees, which could take the total amount of the judgment to more than $40 million, Melton said.
Representatives of Apple and Beats didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the verdict.
Apple bought Beats in 2014 for $3 billion, a deal that got the technology giant into high-end headphones and music streaming.