Apple Hires IBM Chip Designer, IBM Files Lawsuit

Apple recently hired Mark Papermaster, IBM’s former vice president of microprocessor technology development. While Mr. Papermaster was no doubt thrilled to be headed to Apple, it looks like his old employer is saying not so fast to Papermaster’s decision to leave the company.

The New York Times reports that until quite recently Papermaster was one of IBM’s top 300 managers and said that he had signed a noncompete agreement with the company that would prevent him from accepting a job with a competitor for a full year following his departure from IBM.

According to the Times, IBM believes Apple’s decision to hire Papermaster is an attempt to expand its presence in the markets for servers and chips for handheld devices. The company believes that should Papermaster go ahead with his move to Apple he will be "providing to Apple technical and strategic advice on a variety of issues" according to IBM’s complaint.

Many people believe Apple’s decision to take on the former IBM employee could have something to do with the company’s purchase of PA Semi last year. At the time, Jobs told the Times that PA Semi was to be used to build chips for the iPod Touch and iPhone.

Read the full story on the New York Times.

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  • Good call IBM. You cannot risk giving Apple a complete version of the Cell Processor that all they invested into was 1 IBM manager.
  • Wow, I can't believe Apple has the audacity to pick on IBM. Even with Intel's backing Jobs should know he is no match for the Big Blue.
  • If he was the 'Vice President of Microprocessor Technology Development' and Apple got him to work in semiconductor department, then this probably is a violation of the non-competition agreement.