A dispute over unpaid royalties forced both Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Thursday (June 8).
According to Billboard, former hedge fund manager Steven Lamar is seeking more than $100 million dollars in unpaid royalties generated from Beats by Dre headphones. Thus, he’s suing the dynamic duo behind the Beats brand.
Lamar contends he gave Dre and Iovine the idea for the celebrity-endorsed headphones back in 2006. Industrial designer Robert Brunner was the creative genius behind the headphone designs.
Due to a fall out between the three during the initial stages of the company, Iovine and Dre sued Lamar for breach of contract. The case was ultimately settled — part of which included Lamar agreeing to give up his rights to Beats Headphones.
In exchange for his loss of rights, Lamar would earn a 4 percent royalty on every pair of headphones sold by Monster and their partners. Soon after, Beats unveiled their new headphone models. Brunner earned a 2 percent royalty until Iovine and Dre bought out his stake and sold the headphone empire to Apple for $3 billion dollars in 2014.
L.A.’s Supreme Court will now determine if Lamar is rightfully due royalties from later models of Beats headphones or whether the entrepreneurial duo have already fulfilled their financial responsibilities by compensating him for the initial Beats models.
A trial judge initially dismissed Lamar’s claim, but the case resurfaced in September 2016 after an appellate court ruled the agreement was “ambiguous” and could “conflict about the interpretation of the contract,” Billboard reports.
In case you missed it, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre recently hit the cover our 2017 Power30 issue.