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Papermaster settles w/IBM, starts at Apple in April

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Interesting that CA and TX "prohibit enforcement" of NCAs (if true). Too bad the case is in the federal courts, so states laws don't apply.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Papermaster start date

    Why a 3 month delay in the start of his employment? Does it take that long for all the high powered lawyers to do the legal work?

  1. hansmickle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    IBM 5, Apple 1

    According to other sources, the fine print of this agreement is heavily tilted in favor of IBM.

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