IBM Settles, Papermaster is Apple-bound

Apple yesterday announced that Mark Papermaster would be joining the company as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering. Papermaster will start work at the Cupertino company on April 24 and will be reporting directly to Steve Jobs. While Apple announces the newcomer as casually as can be, it ends the drama surrounding the former IBM chief’s decision to leave the company to lead Apple’s iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams.

Other than one line clarifying, “the litigation between IBM and Mark Papermaster has been resolved,” Apple makes no mention of the court proceedings. The company announced Papermaster’s arrival back in October but IBM, Papermaster’s former employer, 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 IBM.

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," he explained.

Papermaster then filed a countersuit, his lawyers claiming 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 said.

Now, three months after this whole thing started, it seems Papermaster and IBM have come to an agreement. 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. Check out the full deal below.

“IBM and Mr. Papermaster have now agreed on a resolution of the lawsuit under which Mr. Papermaster may not begin employment with Apple until April 24, 2009, six months after leaving IBM, and will remain subject thereafter to all of his contractual and other legal duties to IBM, including the obligation not to use or disclose IBM’s confidential information. Following commencement of his employment with Apple, Mr. Papermaster will be required to certify, in July 2009 and again in October 2009, that he has complied with his legal obligations not to use or disclose IBM’s confidential or proprietary information. The preliminary injunction will be replaced by a court order under which the Court will have continuing jurisdiction over this matter, including compliance enforcement powers, until October 24, 2009, one year after Mr. Papermaster’s departure from IBM.”


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  • Pei-chen
    One year is not enough considering IBM has invested in some long term research projects. Apple might be getting a sneak peek into the future of IT industry.
  • GoodBytes
    hang on... his name is really Papermaster ?
  • JMcEntegart
    Really. And I felt duped with McEntegart.