Judge rules that Beats Electronics didn't dupe one of its early partners before its sale to Apple

A judge has dismissed the key claims in a lawsuit alleging that Beats Electronics duped one of its early partners before negotiating its $3 billion sale to Apple two years ago, reports the Chronicle.

The summary judgment issued by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Fahey resolves the core of a case that accused Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine of double-crossing former partner Noel Lee, founder of video and audio cable maker Monster LLC.

The allegations, filed last year, had been scheduled to go to trial next week. Now the trial will be limited to Beats' effort to force Monster to pay its attorney fees and other costs, says the Chronicle.

Monster CEO Lee said in the suit that he and Monster invented the technology behind the Beats headphones. The suit claims that Beats co-founders Iovine and Dre (Andre Young) — both of whom now work for Apple — committed fraud in pirating the headphones away from Lee and Monster.

The suit charged that the Beats co-founders concealed the role of Monster and Lee in designing and engineering the headphone line, as well as educating them about engineering, manufacturing, distributing and selling the headphones that Monster and Lee invented.