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

(View all)
Avatar
69 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)
Avatar
69 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)
Avatar
69 months ago
I don't think thats ethical from Apple. MFI licensing should be open
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 months ago
Wow. One company that makes extremely overpriced products




is revoking the license.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
69 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)
Avatar
69 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

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...