Jury Awards Susman Godfrey Client Steven Lamar $25.25 Million in Beats Headphone Royalty Dispute
A jury in Los Angeles Superior Court today awarded Steven Lamar $25.25 million in his dispute with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine over royalties he was owed for his role in creating the iconic Beats headphones. Susman Godfrey LLP has represented Lamar in this matter. The ultimate value of today’s verdict will likely exceed $45 million after accounting for interest, attorney fees and future royalties.
“We are pleased by this result for Mr. Lamar as it recognizes the key role he played in the origin of the world’s most recognizable headphones,” said Susman Godfrey partner Brian D. Melton, who served as lead trial counsel to Lamar. “We are thankful to the jury for providing this long-sought vindication for him.”
Lamar filed the suit in 2014 claiming that a 2007 royalty agreement required Dr. Dre and Iovine to pay royalties on the sale of every Beats headphone modeled after the original “Studio” design. The trial court initially granted summary judgment to Dr. Dre and Iovine, but a 2016 decision by the California Court of Appeal in the Second Appellate District reversed that and remanded it back for trial.
The jury today awarded Lamar royalties for several Beats models: $7.45 million on the Studio 2 Remastered, $14.86 million on the Studio 2 Wireless and $2.94 million on the Studio 3, which is still being sold.
“This has been a significant battle for Mr. Lamar, including an appeal that revived the case after it was initially dismissed,” said Susman Godfrey partner Stephen E. Morrissey, who was also part of Lamar’s trial team. “It is good to see him receive this result.”
The matter has been covered by numerous national and local media outlets such as the New York Times, The Guardian, Billboard, Bloomberg, Hollywood Reporter, NY Daily News, and the San Diego Union Tribune.
The case is Jibe Audio LLC et al. v. Jimmy Iovine et al., case number BC533089, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.