(AllHipHop News) The pending sale of Beats Electronics to Apple has Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine riding high as they are likely to cash in big from the deal. The major business move is going to greatly enhance the net worth of the two music industry insiders, but there is another self-described founder of Beats claiming that he is owed some headphones money.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Steven Lamar is seeking legal action against Dre and Iovine for breach of contract. The founder of Jibe Audio claims he was the brains behind the Beats headphones marketing concept, and he took the idea of celebrity musical artist-endorsed headphones to Iovine in 2006.
"Lamar's concept envisioned a partnership between technology that would provide a superior audio experience and an iconic product design and brand identity promoted by a well-known and respected music artist," states Lamar's cross-complaint. "Iovine proposed that Dre be the celebrity musical artist to endorse the headphones."
The complaint also suggests that part of Lamar's original proposal was to sell Beats products in Apple stores. Beats eventually partnered with Monster for distribution, and Iovine and Dre were to receive a 20% royalty from the deal with Lamar/Jibe receiving a 5% royalty.
A 2006 lawsuit filed by Dre and Iovine was settled with Lamar and the design firm Pentagram splitting a promised 4% royalty from unspecified headphones sales. The defendants were accused of trying to produce their own line of "Beats" headphones.
Lamar states Pentagram's Robert Brunner negotiated a separate deal with Beats. As a result, he and Jibe have been cut out of the royalty stream agreed to in the settlement. This led to Lamar suing Dre, Iovine, Beats, Pentagram, and the Hinrichs & Associates law firm.