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Dr. Dre's Beats headphones owes ex-partner $25M in royalties, jury finds

The self-proclaimed creator of the headphones had sought $100 million.

Beats Electronics' Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine
Beats Electronics' Dr. Dre (left) and Jimmy Iovine
David Livingston/Getty Images

Rapper Dr. Dre, music mogul Jimmy Iovine and their headphone company Beats Electronics owe a former partner $25.2 million in royalties, a jury decided Wednesday.

A jury at Los Angeles County Superior Court found that Beats breached its contract with Steven Lamar and his company Jibe Audio, according to a report by the Associated Press. Lamar, the self-proclaimed creator of the celebrity-endorsed Beats headphones, had sought more than $100 million for a dozen different models of headphones.

Lamar sued Beats in 2014, claiming he's the one who brought the idea of celebrity-endorsed headphones to Iovine in 2006 -- suggesting that Dre be the first famed sponsor. Lamar also detailed meetings he had with Apple executives regarding distribution of the Beats headphones in Apple retail stores. Ultimately, Beats went with Monster for its distributor.

Another lawsuit Lamar filed, in 2006, was settled when Iovine and Dre agreed to pay him a 4 percent royalty on the original headphones model. His 2014 lawsuit claimed his royalties should've also included future versions of Beats headphones that resembled the original model.

The defendants acknowledged Lamar's involvement in initial plans but argued he was owed royalties only for the original Studio model headphones, royalties that had already been paid.

"The jury really validated our theory of the case, that Mr. Lamar was involved in the founding of Beats," Lamar's attorney Stephen E. Morrissey said outside court, according to the AP. "It's not everything we were asking for, but we're happy."

Beats didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple paid $3.2 billion for Beats Electronics four months before the 2014 lawsuit was filed but wasn't named a defendant in the lawsuit.

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