Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine have been ordered to pay $25.2 million to a former partners Beats, currently, own by Apple Inc.
Steven Lamar claimed that he was the original inventor of the idea of a celebrity endorsed the brand of headphones. He took the idea to Dr Dre and Iovine in 2006. The first Beats headphones were launched two years later, based on the design by Robert Brunner.
The parties later broke up and Lamar sued for unpaid royalties in 2016. In 2007, the dispute was settled in which Dre and Iovine agreed to pay Lamar 4 percent of the base price of every headphone they sold.
But Lamar wrangled that the design was implemented to dozens of different models as well and sought $130 million in royalties. The court in Los Angeles gave a verdict that the headphones including Studio 2 Remastered, Studio 2 Wireless and Studio 3 had almost the similar designs and order Dr Dre and Iovine to pay Lamar $25,247,350.
Studio 3 is still on sale which means Lamar will continue to receive royalties in addition to what court ordered for previous sales.
During the trial Dre and Iovine testified the origin of Beats brand—the story was told in length in a recent HBO documentary series, “The Defiant Ones”.
Lamar’s lawyer said the Jury outrightly rejected the attempt and influence of painting his client’s role as an ordinary in the development of the idea, they just tried to say Lamar was just there at the right time and they already had the idea.
He added: “For anybody who has a great idea and brings it to a company and then doesn’t get the recognition or credit that they’re due—what this jury verdict says is, if that happens to you and you’re a little person, you can go into court and have a jury of American citizens determine whether you’re right or wrong.
And if you are right, you will get what you should be getting.
Beat, famous for its incredible series of headphones later became the popular music streaming service, it was acquired by Apple Inc, in a $3 billion deal in 2014. The case against Beats was filed before the Apple deal and Apple was not named as a defendant in that legal case.