updated 03:35 pm EST, Tue January 27, 2009
Papermaster going to Apple
Despite the legal battle between Mark Papermaster and IBM, Apple has announced that he will start his new job on April 24th as senior VP of Device Hardware Engineering, which centers on the iPhone and iPod. The conflict between Papermaster and his former employer began last year when he took a position at Apple, a move that IBM considered a violation of the non-competition agreement that would have barred him from defecting to a competitor for a period of a year.
IBM sued Papermaster for taking the job, arguing that he violated a contract and could provide Apple with confidential information including trade secrets. The defense maintained that the two companies are not direct competitors, IBM focusing on enterprise products while Apple makes consumer products. Attorneys also pointed out that he signed a contract at Apple that would prohibit him from disclosing trade secrets from previous employers.
The counterclaims against IBM suggested that the NCA is unenforceable and overbroad, effectively preventing him from taking any position in the tech industry. Additionally, Papermaster worked for IBM in Texas and will work for Apple in California, both states that prohibit enforcement of NCA agreements.
The court initially ordered Papermaster to halt work with Apple, while requiring IBM to establish a $3 million bond to ensure compensation if the injunction is found to be unjust. The defense in December switched to a trio of lawyers from the firm Weil Gotshal, although the details or terms of a settlement with IBM remain unknown.