Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre sued by “Father of Beats headphones”

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre sued by "Father of Beats headphones"

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Steven La/3/has filed a lawsuit against Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

Steven La/3/is a former hedge-fund manager and the founder of a company called Jive Audio. He is also called the “father of Beats headphones.”

Mike Klasco, an audio consultant who worked on the original Beats headphone, told Bloomberg today that La/3/is the real father of Beats headphones.

Amidst the growing rumors surrounding Apple’s $3.2 billion deal with Beats Electronics, La/3/is filing a lawsuit against Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, ex-Apple designer Robert Brunner, and others, for breach of contract and bad faith.

According to Hollywood Reporter, La/3/came up with the idea to create a premium set of headphones. He then approached Iovine, who recruited Dr. Dre to become the brand’s endorser.

Unfortunately, the partnership didn’t work. Instead of signing a retail deal with Apple, Beats picked Monster LLC to be its distribution partner. Under the terms, Iovine and Dre were to receive 20 percent royalty on sales, while La/3/only got 5 percent.

Perhaps unhappy with the cut, La/3/reportedly tried to approach the design firm Pentagram to create a similar headphone. Hearing this, Iovine and Dre filed a $1 million lawsuit against La/3/and Pentagram.

It was settled a year later, with Iovine and Dr. Dre agreeing to pay Pentagram a 4 percent royalty. The latter then agreed to turn over the half of the payments to Lamar.

Fast-forward today, La/3/is complaining that the Beats co-founders are not paying enough royalties. This will be a complex case since the agreement did not indicate if the royalties will still apply to newer versions of the headphones.

You can read the complaint here


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