Apple Revokes Monster’s Authority to Make Licensed Accessories Following Beats Lawsuit



Monster Cable

Following a January lawsuit filed by Monster against Apple-owned Beats Electronics, Apple announced that they have suspended Monster’s right to make licensed accessories for their devices. Under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFi) certification process that was established in 2005, Monster produces accessories such as lightning charger cables and headphones that are certified to work with various Apple devices. On May 5 of this year, Apple terminated its deal with Monster and the company will no longer be able to make their accessories.

The lawsuit was filed after Monster accused Beats Electronics co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, and HTC of conspiring to acquire Monster’s portion of Beats through a fraudulent deal. Prior to Apple’s purchase of Beats Electronics, Monster designed and sold Beats by Dre headphones but in 2011, Beats sold 51 percent of the company to HTC which led to a new ownership clause in the Beats/Monster deal. Later, Beats bought back the stake they sold to HTC and subsequently convinced Monster CEO Noel Lee to sell part of his 5-percent stake also. Afterwards, Lee was convinced that the transaction was a scam designed to exclude Monster from receiving profits from the headphone sales and later, profits from the Apple acquisition, which would have been more than $100 million had he retained his stake in the company.

Since losing their agreement with Apple, Monster is now required to change its packaging as well as reworking certain products that used licensed technology. Monster will be allowed to sell Apple accessories through the end of September but after that they are no longer permitted to sell or produce MFi-certified cables or headphones. David Tognotti, a lawyer for Monster, released a statement defending his client: He believes that the move is excessive and "shows a side of Apple that consumers don't see very often. Apple can be a bully.” Over 900 of Monster’s 4,000 products produced since 2008 have been made under the MFi program and the company says they have paid over USD$12 million in licensing fees since then.

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