[NEW YORK] American audio equipment maker Monster LLC is suing rival Beats over claims it ripped off headphone technology ahead of the firm's sale to Apple for more than US$3 billion.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in California, alleges Beats co-founders music mogul Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr Dre pirated the "Beats By Dr Dre" headphone line from Monster and its CEO Noel Lee.
The complaint makes several other allegations including that Beats had "fraudulently acquired" the line of headphones in a "sham transaction" with Taiwan smartphone giant HTC.
The headphones became tremendously popular among young people, fashionistas and celebrities.
The defendants "made millions off the work of Monster and Lee, while the plaintiffs lost millions," according to a statement from Monster's law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy.
It's the second lawsuit against Beats since Apple bought it last year for US$3.2 billion.
The first was brought by the Bose Corporation over patented technology for canceling noise in earphones. That case was settled under undisclosed terms in October.