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Jimmy Iovine & Dr. Dre Are Fighting A Huge Beats Royalty Lawsuit

Having one of the biggest headphone brands in the game isn’t always glorious–take it from the guys behind Beats.

The origin of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats company is currently under debate in Los Angeles Superior Court, because entrepreneur Steven Lamar is suing the duo for allegedly screwing him out of a whopping $100 million in royalties.

Lamar is claiming that he’s the one who brought the idea of a celebrity-endorsed headphone line to Dre and Iovine all the way back in 2006, according to reports from Billboard. After the trio went through a falling out, Iovine and Dre sued him, and both parties ended up eventually settling.

With the settlement came these conditions: Lamar relinquished his rights in exchange for four percent royalties of every headphone sold thereafter. Thereafter, Beats started designing and selling newer models, and as you probably already know, the pair eventually sold the company to Apple for a smooth $3 billion. Now, the issue is whether or not Lamar is owed royalties for the models sold after their initial settlement was made, or if the former Beats owners owe him a substantial amount more.

The judge originally rejected Lamar’s claim that they owe him anything, but a California appeals court thought otherwise and revived the lawsuit two years ago, stating that the royalty agreement both parties initially agreed to was “ambiguous.” The current proceedings revolve around the debate as to whether or not the agreement was about one particular product, or any future iterations and models.

In the proceedings, Lamar introduced a PowerPoint presentation containing slides from the early days of Beats, where he brainstormed various models that he, Dre, and Iovine would collaborate on in the future. Right now, this entire matter is currently for the Los Angeles Superior Court to wade through—but something like this can sure take a while. 

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