In May 2014, Beats was bought by Apple, but under a partnership formed in 2008, Monster and Beats developed “Beats by Dr. Dre,” a line of colourful, high-end headphones that vie with the likes of Skullcandy and Bose.
Monster engineered the headphones and was unfairly cut out before Beats was sold to Apple last year, it is alleged.
The complaint names Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as well as HTC as defendants.
The complaint said that the defendants, who still work for Apple, fraudulently acquired Monster’s “Beats By Dr. Dre” product line including all development, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, distributing and retail rights, via a “sham” transaction with HTC.
Apparently, in 2011, HTC said it would buy a 51 percent stake in Beats for $309 million. Beats bought back half of HTC’s interest in the company soon after the transaction, the complaint complained.
The defendants used the change of control as an excuse to end its relationship with Monster in 2012, while it made millions off the work of Lee and Monster.
Iovine and Dr. Dre then “improperly erased” Monster and Monster’s founder Noel Lee from Beats’ history.