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Judge: Papermaster Could Cause Irreparable Damage to IBM

By - Source: Tom's Guide | B 10 comments

According to court documents recently unsealed, the judge presiding over the IBM versus Papermaster lawsuit banned the latter party from working at Apple because he felt it would result in irreparable damage for IBM.

At the time of ruling there was plenty of information floating around as to why Papermaster felt he should be allowed to take up his position at the Cupertino company, however the same could not be said for Judge Kenneth Karas, who ordered Papermaster to step back from his position at Apple until further notice.

ComputerWorld reports that Karas ordered Papermaster to leave the company just because he might cause "irreparable harm" to IBM. The judge explained why he felt the temporary injunction was justified in recently unsealed documents.

“Because Mr. Papermaster has been inculcated with some of IBM’s most sensitive and closely guarded technical and strategic secrets, it is no great leap for the Court to find that Plaintiff has met its burden of showing a likelihood of irreparable harm."

The opinion throws off Mr. Papermaster’s own claims that Apple and IBM are not competing companies. Judge Karas said that Papermaster is likely to draw on his 20-plus years of experience from IBM while working at Apple to make sure the iPhone and iPod are are fitted with the best possible microprocessor technology and at a lower cost.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 27, 2008 1:10 AM
    Shenanigans!!!
  • 0 Hide
    blackwidow_rsa , November 27, 2008 4:42 AM
    HA! in your face apple! : P
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , November 27, 2008 10:07 AM
    Oh I thought this was about the papermaster software, not some guy named papermaster ...
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    ThePatriot , November 28, 2008 4:56 AM
    In other words: IBM 'ownes' Mr Papermaster..... I wonder if that is going to hold up in higher courts.

    Ofcourse is Apple going to benefit from his experience, that is the whole point of hiring him, it is the point of every employer for hiring any employee. Duh.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 28, 2008 6:12 PM
    The judge is an idiot. How can a judge in New York assert jurisdiction over some who worked in Texas and now in California. You have to sue the person in their home state . Both Texas and California refuse to uphold non compete clauses .
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 28, 2008 8:18 PM
    The lawsuit is in Federal District Court, not state court. That is the proper court in a dispute such as this with a corporation based in New York, an employee working for the corporation in Texas and another company headquartered in California.

    Besides, this ruling only applies to the temporary order preventing papermaster from working at Apple. It is not the final outcome in this case. Believe it or not this is just a contract dispute. Often times courts will uphold the temporary injuctions until the matter at the heart of the issue is sorted out. Maybe better than letting him work for 3 months then having a ruling that he is actually in violation and forcing him to leave for two years.
  • 0 Hide
    crosshares , November 30, 2008 11:32 PM
    umm all these articles stated that the noncompetiton agreement was for one year and that he signed it in october 07 (i believe) and he went to apple in november of 08.

    At least thats what i remember. (disclaimer, correct if incorrect)

    so going by this the whole case is pointless and a total waste for IBM.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 1, 2008 5:11 PM
    The owners in this country want to own you: your labor, your body, and your mind. It is ludicrous that people put up with these non-compete agreements. If we all agreed together not to sign them the corporate world would be SOL.

    United we stand, divided we fall.
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , December 1, 2008 8:37 PM
    Bob FThe owners in this country want to own you: your labor, your body, and your mind. It is ludicrous that people put up with these non-compete agreements. If we all agreed together not to sign them the corporate world would be SOL.United we stand, divided we fall.


    It's not just corporations either. Colleges, institutions setup to develop young minds into focused tools, assert the same control over their students. Anything created by a student belongs to the school. When you have to come up with that killer thesis project, don't over-do it, you still want something you can work on/market after you graduate.

    These organizations promote and encourage new thinking and development of new ideas, then punish the individual when those ideas take them in a direction that dissagrees with the coporation (i.e. obviously Papermaster had a reason to leave IBM).

    Papermaster may have enough in savings to live without working for a year, but how would most people survive, get a job in a completely unrelated field, while their skills degrade after a year of disuse? Sure, Papermaster shouldn't get to use IBM blue-prints or anything, but to say his experience is a threat is obsurd. Experience is all any employee ever has to market themselves.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 2, 2008 2:00 PM
    crosshairs: noncompetition agreements start their clock from the date of termination, not from the date you sign the agreement (i.e. IBM says "If you leave this company, you can't work for our competitor for a year."
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