Beats Electronics has just filed a false advertising and unfair competition lawsuit against Steve Lamar, the owner of headphones company Roam, for claiming to be a co-founder of the new Apple subsidiary alongside Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lamar is using these claims to market his own headphones company.
It is clear that Beats, which is now owned by Apple after a $3 billion acquisition, doesn’t like the fact that Lamar is capitalizing on Beats’ strong reputation with allegedly false and misleading claims about his association. The lawsuit, which was filed last Friday, therefore seeks damages as well as complete removal of all claims about contributing to the company. It also states that third-party news organizations, tweeters and bloggers have been “inaccurately” referring to Lamar as a “co-founder” and that Lamar has “perpetuated these inaccuracies by tweeting direct links to these stories”.
“Defendants’ claims are false and misleading because Lamar is not a ‘co-founder’ of Beats Electronics, LLC,” states the complaint. “He does not have — nor has he ever had — any ownership interest in the company. Moreover, Jibe Audio [once run by Lamar] was not responsible for the ‘concept, design, manufacturing and distribution’ of Beats’ headphones.”
Beats points to statements on Roam’s website and Lamar’s social media profiles where he claims to have co-founded Beats, and the complaint faults the defendants for having “taken no steps to inform the public that these statements were incorrect.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Central District Court of California.
Update: We just received a statement from PR company LaunchSquad representing Steven Lamar via email:
This lawsuit is filled with erroneous and unsubstantiated claims. Steven Lamar’s role and significant contribution as a creator of the Beats by Dr. Dre brand and its headphone product line have been acknowledged for nearly a decade. This is the reason for his agreement to receive royalty payments from Beats. Mr. Lamar does not claim to be a shareholder or employee in any “Beats” related businesses established after he, Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young settled their dispute in 2007. We look forward to an immediate and positive resolution to this matter.