According to Billboard, entrepreneur Steven Lamar claims he created the idea of a celebrity-endorsed headphones line and brought it to Dre back in 2006. After having a fallout a few years later, Dre and Iovine sued Lamar for a breach of contract. The lawsuit left Lamar without rights, but in exchange, he would receive a four percent royalty from every headphone sold.
Now, the parties are battling it out in court to figure out if Lamar is owed more than $100 million in royalties for all versions of Beats sold or just the first model. The lawsuit was initially denied by a trial judge but was revived in 2016 by an appeals court after it determined the royalty agreement was “ambiguous.”
The respective sides have already begun to present evidence in court. Dre and Iovine claim when the deal was done, they had no idea there would be more versions of Beats created. But Lamar has reportedly presented a Powerpoint from early stages of the company that shows different models and future ideas for the headphones line.
Regardless of the outcome, Dre and Iovine are due to receive $700 million from their stock in Beats Electronic in August.