#DrDre and #JimmyIovine are being sued by an ex-business partner who claims that the pair has left him out of $100 million in unpaid #Beats royalties.
A trial began on Friday at the Los Angeles Supreme Court and entrepreneur Steven Lamar claimed that he is the one who proposed the idea of a celebrity-endorsed headphone line designed by renown industrial designer #RobertBrunner to Dre and Iovine back in 2006.
The three of them had a falling out which led to Dre and Iovine suing him for breech of contract. Lamar relinquished his rights in exchange for a four percent royalty on every headphone sold by Monster and its affiliates, according to @Billboard. After they reached a settlement, Beats released new models and began paying 2% royalties to Brunner until they bought out his interest in 2014. Dre and Iovine then sold the company to Apple for $3 billion.
The issue in question is whether or not Lamar is owed royalties for “later derivative versions” of the Beats headphones or if the original agreement was fulfilled after he was compensated for the first headphone model.
The trial judge initially rejected Lamar’s claims, but in Sept. 2016, a California appeals court revived the lawsuit by finding that the royalty agreement was “ambiguous” enough that a jury must consider the factual conflict about the interpretation of the contract. And so the parties are now at trial presenting evidence about whether the royalty agreement was meant to be a one-product deal or more. Dre and Iovine say that when the deal was made, nobody knew that Beats would be such a success where there would be follow-up versions, but Lamar points to a PowerPoint presentation from the early days where he contemplated different models and the parties’ future collaboration on a “line of headphones.”
We’ll keep y’all posted 👀
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on IG