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Florida business comes out ahead in lawsuit against 50 Cent

Those interested in pop culture are likely aware of the diversification in business many musicians and performers seek. One crossover that makes sense to some is the creation of headphones by performers. Following the lead of Dr. Dre, rapper 50 Cent, also known as Curtis Jackson, made a deal with a Florida company to create his own line of headphones. Somewhere along the way the deal soured and the rapper worked with another manufacturer to create the product. The original manufacturer, Sleek Audio, then took legal action against the performer. 

Specifically, the manufacturer alleged that Jackson stole design secrets that were then used in the creation of the headphones by the other manufacturer. The case went to arbitration last summer where the Florida business came out on top. The award the business received, which until recently was kept under wraps, was just affirmed by a federal court in Miami.

In addition to $4.4 million in legal fees and expenses, Jackson will pay damages of $11.6 million to the Bradenton company. The damages are for breach of confidentiality, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Many businesses in the state of Florida rely upon trade secrets to make a profit. When another party takes that information to a competitor of the business that then uses that information to make a profit, it can have a devastating financial impact on the first business. As the result between Sleek Audio and 50 Cent illustrates, a business that has been the victim of a trade secret misappropriation may be successful in recouping money lost via a lawsuit. Undoubtedly working with a lawyer in these types of matters will result in the best possible outcome.

Source: Miami Herald, “Rapper 50 Cent must pay $16 million to settle headphone lawsuit,” Jose Lambiet, April 8, 2014

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