Audio tech company Monster has filed a lawsuit against Apple’s Beats Electronics, claiming the latter has hidden the role they played in designing and engineering the Beats By Dr. Dre headphones, reports USA Today.
The technology behind the headphones was invented by Monster CEO, Noel Lee, claims the lawsuit filed in the San Mateo County Superior Court. Jimmy Iovine and Dre have “committed fraud in pirating the headphones away from Lee and Monster”, the filing says.
Noel and his son made their story public through Gizmodo in 2013 when they revealed how the audio tech firm had “lost the world”. Monster was instrumental in creating the Beats By Dre headphones, as Lee designed and engineered them, and educated Dre and Iovine about engineering and manufacturing, and distributing and selling the product he invented.
But there was a five-year manufacturing and distribution deal between Beats and Monster, USA Today says. Dre and Iovine bought back Beats a year before they inked the $3 billion deal with Apple.
Now Lee says Monster has lost millions off its investment in the rise of Beats. If he had retained his original 5% share in the company, his total stake in the $3 billion deal would have been worth more than $100 million, the filing claims.
The only way to set things right, Lee says, is for Beats to pay punitive damages.