Former business associate Steven Lamar and Jibe Audio previously sued Dre and Jimmy back in September 2016, citing a breach of contract. The contract covered his rights to royalties, as he allegedly played a pivotal role in proposing the headphones in the first place. Jimmy and Dre’s camp argues that Lamar is only eligible for royalties on the “Beats Studio” make, with a controversial debate ensuing over whether or not the contract simply covered one product; if that were indeed the case, Lamar would be out of luck for all subsequent Beats models, of which there were many. The iconic headphones went on to become quite the lucrative property for the Defiant Ones. For some context, Apple previously purchased Beats for $3 billion dollars.
The Hollywood Reporter details Dre and Jimmy’s day in court, claiming both parties arrived in “crisp black suits.” What followed seemed to be a history lesson of sorts, during which both parties explained a bit about their legacies, covering ground laid out in HBO’s The Defiant Ones. The report details the long-and-short of their storied history as friends and collaborators, which included playing some of Dr. Dre’s classics in effort to showcase his passion for music and the art of engineering.
It should be noted that back in 2007, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine ultimately signed documents agreeing to pay a royalty based on “4 percent base price of every headphone.” Though the agreement only specified one headphone, the aforementioned Studio model, it was specified that the agreement “embodies the Headphone Design with minor cosmetic modifications.” Upon taking the stand, Lamar argued that the design of subsequent models were similar enough to the original to warrant being “minor cosmetic modifications.” As such, he feels owed a massive chunk of unpaid royalties.
As of now, a verdict has yet to be reached. Read the original report right here.