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Dr Dre, Jimmy Iovine ordered to pay US$25m to Beats collaborator

Dr Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine have been ordered to pay US$25.2 million to a former partner in their headphone company, Beats.
 
Steven Lamar claimed credit for the idea of creating a brand of celebrity-endorsed headphones. He presented the idea to Dre and Iovine in 2006 and the first Beats headphones were released two years later, based on a design by Robert Brunner.
 
The parties later fell out, and Lamar sued over unpaid royalties in 2016.
 
At the centre of their dispute was a 2007 settlement, in which Dre and Iovine agreed to pay Lamar four per cent of the base price of every headphone they sold.
 
Only one model, Beats Studio, was specified but Lamar argued the design had been carried over to a dozen different models, and sought US$130 million in royalties.
 
A jury in Los Angeles decided that three pairs of headphones - the Studio 2 Remastered, the Studio 2 Wireless and the Studio 3 - had design similarities; and ordered that Dre and Lovine should pay Lamar US$25,247,350.
 
With the Studio 3 still on sale, the verdict means Lamar will continue to receive royalties in addition to the court-mandated payout.


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