Most people know Monster best for being the former owners of the Beats brand of audio products. The companies split apart in early 2012, and while Monster is still in the electronics business, many would agree Beats have done much better since the breakup. However, Monster is still working at recouping some of what it felt was stolen by Beats after the separation, suing Beats Electronics in January of this year.
All of this comes in the wake of Apple’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics, so this Monster lawsuit is effectively against Apple. This week, Apple is firing back, by revoking Monster’s license to make accessories under the “Made for iPhone (MFi)” program. The program certifies that electronics will work with Apple products, as well as providing tools and access to component manufacturers. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Monster’s legal counsel says that the change will significantly disrupt Monster’s business, pointing out that almost 25% of Monster’s products are made under the MFi program.
Of course, this lawsuit was only filed after Beats was acquired by Apple, so Monster could well just be hoping to win a piece of that now much bigger pie. In the lawsuit, Monster alleges that the company was not made aware of potential proceeds from Beats’ eventual sale to Apple.
As a result of the agreement’s termination, Monster must remove the MFi logo from its packaging, and redesign certain components to not use Apple’s licensed technology, and they will have until September to comply.
[source]Wall Street Journal[/source]