Former IBM employee, Mark Papermaster has finally started working at Apple, following nearly seven months of legal headaches and red tape.
Apple announced Papermaster’s arrival at the company back in October but Papermaster's former employer IBM claimed that if he were to work for Apple, he would be in breach of a non-compete agreement he had signed when he worked for Big Blue. A federal judge ordered Papermaster to step back from his position at Apple until the matter was resolved and it later emerged that Judge Kenneth Karas felt Papermaster’s presence at Apple could cause IBM some serious damage.
“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," Keras explained.
Papermaster then filed a countersuit. His lawyers claimed that the agreement was unenforceable because the deal was governed by the laws of the state of New York, while Papermaster lives in Texas and Apple is based in California.
"Both states hold that such non-competition agreements are unenforceable as a matter of public policy," the countersuit read. Back in January, Apple once again announced Papermaster’s arrival at the company, assuring the press that, “the litigation between IBM and Mark Papermaster had been resolved.”
IBM released a statement containing details of the resolution reached. Basically Papermaster can start work at Apple once he’s been out of IBM six months. That said, he has to report back in July and again in October and certify that he has not used or disclosed any important IBM stuff to Apple.
The former vice president of microprocessor technology development at IBM joins Apple as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, reporting to Steve Jobs, himself. CNet reports that Papermaster’s first day at Apple was last Friday.