Judge Orders Former IBM Exec to Stop Work at Apple

A federal judge Friday ordered former IBM manager, Mark Papermaster, to step back from his position at Apple following a lawsuit alleging he was in breach of a non-compete agreement he signed while working for Big Blue.

Late in October news emerged of IBM’s impending lawsuit against its former vice president of microprocessor technology development. While Apple had yet to make an official announcement about any new employees climbing on board, IBM let the cat out of the bag when court documents claimed that Papermaster had filed a noncompete agreement in 2006 and so, was not allowed to work for the Apple. Apple announced early last week that Papermaster would be joining the company as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, reporting to Steve Jobs himself. However, the aforementioned agreement banned Papermaster from working for a competitor for a full year after leaving the company.

While IBM’s suit may seem perfectly reasonable, ComputerWorld reports that Papermaster’s own court filings said when he handed in his notice on October 13, and informed the company of his decision to move to Apple, IBM accepted his two weeks notice rather than asking him to leave the company immediately.

Mr. Papermaster says that IBM’s decision to allow him to continue working at the company (with unfettered access to all of his files and to the company’s entire computer network) with full knowledge of his plans to move to Apple, meant the company’s claim that it would suffer irreparable harm or hardship due to ’inevitable disclosure’ of ’trade secrets’ was absurd.

According to ComputerWorld, Papermaster was contacted by Apple in January regarding a position in the company, which he refused. Apple contacted Papermaster again in September of this year and met with Steve Jobs. Papermaster was offered a counteroffer from IBM but moved to Apple, referring to the post as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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  • Kami3k
    Hmm sucks to be apple right now, what comes around goes around. I

    mean their mac ads have reached a all time low. Making a ad thats says how much your dominating competitor spent in their ads.... Not that they were ever good to begin with.

    Then suing the university in Canda. And then after that having around 3-4 lawsuits be bought against them.
  • Anonymous

    Sucks to be apple? Apple has tons of money saved up, doesn’t owe anyone money to anyone. I think they are a perfect example of an almost perfect business model.

    Every company has its haters but it’s easy to judge a company that you don’t even work for nor have any real background information to back up any type of negative claim that justify them to hire a IBM employee..

    When you start your own multi billion $$ company then you can have an opinion.
  • Anonymous
    Actually Apple only has 7.8 billion TOTAL. Microsoft made 7.6 billion in one quarter alone! Apple doesn't owe anyone money because of their lawsuit-crazy lawyers. SBguy, if you think they are an "amost perfect business model" - get real, join the real world and step out of your fantasy world. You talk about I quote: ""Every company has its haters but it’s easy to judge a company that you don’t even work for nor have any real background information"" I suppose you work for Apple? or how many BJobs did Steve give you to say that horse shit. There are plenty of negative claims out there, perhaps if you got off of your Crapari browser, and surfed Google you'd see how bad Apple brings down the computer industry.