Even though Apple owns the billion-dollar company, Dr. Dre is entangled in legal trouble involving his former company, ‘Beats Headphones’. Currently, in a Los Angeles Superior Court, Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, and Steven Lamar are squandering over whether more than $100 million in royalties belong to Lamar.
In 2006, Lamar, Dre, and Iovine, worked together to bring the celebrity-endorsed headphone line based on industrial designer Robert Brunner, to life. The product was great but the trio had a falling out in early years and Dre and Lovine sued Lamar for a breach of contract. The verdict ended with Lamar relinquishing his rights to the product in exchange for a four percent royalty on all headphones sold by Monster and its affiliates. Shortly after, Beats released new models and paid a royalty of only two percent to Brunner, the original engineer. In 2014, Dread Iovine bought out Brunner’s interest in the company. Later then selling Beats to Apple for $3 billion.
A claim was filed by Lamar in September of 2016, to decide whether he was due royalties off of that deal involving later versions of the Beats headphones. The judge initially rejected the claim but a California appeals court revived the agreement claiming that it was so “ambiguous” that a jury needed to decide. Though Dre and Iovine claim that they didn’t know the brand would have been as large as it became, Lamar pointed to a powerpoint from the beginning stages of their collaboration that included different models for a “line of headphones”.