Apple Revokes Monster's 'Made for iPhone' License Following Beats Lawsuit

Apple has suspended audio accessory maker Monster's right to make licensed accessories for Apple devices following a lawsuit Monster filed against Apple-owned Beats Electronics in January, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Monster produces Lightning charging cables and headphones that are certified to work with Apple devices under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFi) certification process, and it has done so since 2005. As of May 5, Apple is ending its agreement with Monster and will no longer allow the company to make MFi certified accessories.

monsterheadphones

Monster's general counsel David Tognotti said Noreen Krall, Apple's chief litigation counsel, told him that their agreement was being terminated, effective May 5, because the relationship between the two companies is no longer "mutually beneficial" in the wake of Monster's lawsuit. According to Mr. Tognotti, Ms. Krall said the suit would "destroy the working relationship" between Apple and Monster.

Monster's lawsuit accused Beats Electronics, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, and HTC of conspiring to acquire Monster's portion of Beats Electronics through a fraudulent deal. Well before Beats Electronics was bought by Apple, Monster designed and sold Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. That ended in 2011, after Beats sold 51 percent of the company to HTC and invoked a change of ownership clause in the Beats/Monster deal.

Beats Electronics later repurchased HTC's stake in the company and convinced Monster CEO Noel Lee to sell a portion of his 5 percent stake as well. According to Lee, this was a "sham transaction" designed to exclude Monster from profits from Beats by Dre sales and later, profits from the Apple acquisition, which would have been more than $100 million had he retained his stake in the company.

With Apple ending its MFi agreement with Monster, Monster will be required to change its packaging and rework some products that use licensed technology. The headphones in the image above, for example, are described as including Apple ControlTalk® microphone, music, and volume control. Apple is permitting Monster to continue to sell accessories through September, but the company is not allowed to produce new MFi-certified cables and headphones.

According to Monster, 900 of its more than 4,000 products produced since 2008 have been made under the MFi program, and the company has paid out more than $12 million in licensing fees since that date. Monster lawyer David Tognotti says the move is excessive and "shows a side of Apple that consumers don't see very often." "Apple can be a bully," he said.

Top Rated Comments

KernelG Avatar
76 months ago
"Apple can be a bully," says the company that has threatened to sue everyone on the planet who also uses the word "monster", including Hanna Barbera for old episodes of Scooby-Doo. (Not joking.)
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacNut Avatar
76 months ago
Funny how a company that sells $6 cables for $100 because of the logo on the cable is mad at being screwed out of money.
What company are you talking about? Apple or Monster?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oliversl Avatar
76 months ago
I don't think thats ethical from Apple. MFI licensing should be open
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
76 months ago
Wow. One company that makes extremely overpriced products




is revoking the license.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacNut Avatar
76 months ago
I wonder though, does this whiny lawyer have anything to say about Monster's ridiculous ~80% markups?
To be fair, how much is Apple charging for over priced Beats headphones.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
76 months ago
"Monster produces Lightning charging cables and headphones that are certified to work with Apple devices under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFi) certification process, and it has done so since 2005"

2005? Are you sure that the Made For iPhone certification process was in place two years before the iPhone was on sale?
Yes. The program was launched in January 2005. That it was called Made For iPod then is largely irrelevant.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...