Dr Dre sues Yamaha over headphones

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Beats Electronics is suing Yamaha over alleged patent infringement.

A pair of Beats headphones (left) and Yamaha's Pro Series (right).
(Credit: Beats/Yamaha)

Beats is claiming that Yamaha has copied the design of its Beats by Dr Dre headphone range with the Pro 300, 400 and 500 Series headphones.

The complaint was filed in California on 6 February, as reported by music website AllHipHop. The filing shows various images of Yamaha's Pro Series headphones appearing in marketing material with tags such as "Dr ... Who?" and "A Better Beat".

Beats and Dr Dre said that the design of Yamaha's headphones is so similar to its own range that consumers could be confused over which is which.

"Consumers appreciated the design, as well as the sound quality of Beats, and began wearing the Beats headphones around their necks as a fashion accessory, even when not listening to music," said the filing. "In fact, the design of the Beats headphones has been a significant driver of the commercial success of the products."

Beats was co-founded by Dr Dre (otherwise known as Andre Young) and Jimmy Iovine in 2006, entering into a licensing agreement with Monster Cable a few years later. That agreement dissolved at the end of 2012, and Beats now manufactures the range of audio devices itself.

Beats is seeking US$75,000 in damages from Yamaha, claiming a patent violation, infringement of Trade Dress Rights and Unfair Competition. The claim can be read in full here.

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ADSLNerd posted a comment   

As if you couldn't tell which was Yamaha with that big logo on the side - Another vexatious litigant case in the works and the legal fees will probably outdo the costs wanted anyway. Beats are crap headphone - overpriced branded Made in China garbage, nothing like Sennheiser.


hallo436 posted a comment   

"In fact, the design of the Beats headphones has been a significant driver of the commercial success of the products."

Even their company admits their target audience are stooges.


FredTS posted a comment   

Beats is just mad because their headphones are average and too bass heavy compared to Yamaha's pro series. One company has a history of producing some of the best sounding audio equipment and the other is selling headphones only because of the name behind it.


dgentele posted a comment   

I'm sure the legal fee's to fight this case will go well over the $75,000 in damages Beats are claiming.

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