Monster Cable and Beats Electronics, the companies behind the Beats by Dre line of headphones, have filed a lawsuit against startup headphone manufacturer Fanny Wang.
The lawsuit, filed four days after the company's launch, among other things, alleges that Fanny Wang copies the Beats design patent and packaging. They are seeking a temporary restraining order that would in effect prohibit Fanny Wang from exhibiting at the upcoming CES trade show.
Part of the dispute may stem from the fact that Fanny Wang hired a sound engineer that formally worked for Monster on the Beats line. Additionally, the Fanny Wang website references Beats by Dre in its marketing text ("The Fanny Wang headphones takes the trend started by 'Beats by Dr Dre' to the next level") and does the same in its press release.
Monster and Beats contend Fanny Wang's devices are "knock offs" of the "Studio" and "Solo" models of the Beats by Dre line. Judging by the photos on the Fanny Wang site, there are some similarities, but a judge will have to decide to what extent. And based on Fanny Wang's response to the lawsuit, the company seems to be using the legal action as a marketing tool to drum up attention.
Beats by Dre, of course, is the headphone line backed by Interscope chairman Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop legend Dr. Dre. You can read the filing here.