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Papermaster Ordered to Stop Working, Claims He Did Nothing Wrong

A judge has issued a court order for newly hired Apple executive Mark Papermaster to stop working immediately. Although IBM is suing Apple and Mark Papermaster for various anti-trust violations they believe to be true, Papermaster claims he has done nothing wrong.

ibmappleWhen Apple first announced Senior VP of the iPod Division, Tony Fadell, was leaving the company due to personal reasons, they followed it up with the announcement of a new hire, Mark Papermaster from IBM. However, IBM wasn’t very accepting of the chip design expert’s departure.

Even though Papermaster claims IBM and Apple work on completely different products, selling to different markets, IBM disagrees, and remains worried about trade secret violations. Papermaster claims he has done absolutely nothing wrong, and has not violated any trade secrets agreements. Kenneth Karas, a Federal District Judge in White Plains, New York ordered that Mark Papermaster “immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc until further order of this court.” An Apple spokesman has responded explaining that they will comply with the court’s order but “are confident that Mark Papermaster will be able to ultimately join Apple when the dust settles.”

“To the best of my knowledge, IBM does not design, manufacture or market consumer electronic products,” Papermaster explained in a court document. “Instead, IBM focuses on high-performance business systems such as information technology infrastructure, servers and information storage products, and operating systems software,” he continued. “Apple, on the other hand, is in the business of designing, manufacturing and marketing consumer-oriented hardware and related products.” IBM completely disagreed, “Electronic devices large and small are powered by the same type of intelligence, the microprocessor,” IBM explained.

Papermaster claims that throughout his entire tenure with IBM, they never once directly competed with Apple. He continues to explain that while he held his position at IBM, he wasn’t actively interested in leaving the company. It was not until Steve Jobs and Apple came along, gave him a taste of their magical potion, and offered him a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” that he decided to leave IBM to join Apple.

As we’ve previously explained, Papermaster was considered a genius at IBM. He was part of an incredibly talented team and losing him would be devastating for IBM. Besides being an expert in IBM’s Power microprocessor architecture, he was part of an elite Integration & Values team until last month.

One stipulation that could turn around and possibly hurt Papermaster’s new position with Apple, is a previous arrangement he made with IBM before he left the company. He worked with IBM for 25 years, and prior to leaving agreed not to work for/with any competition for at least a year after leaving IBM. Even though he claims Apple and IBM weren’t competing, IBM disagrees, and Papermaster’s lawyers claim that having forcing him “to ’sit out’ of the electronics industry for a year would be incredibly damaging to his career.”

Currently, Papermaster has submitted an objection to Judge Karas, and has set another hearing for November 18th. Apple seams to be rather confident about the outcome of the case, but if IBM has things their way, Papermaster may never be able to fulfill his role with Apple, or at least be prohibited from working for a year.

Comments [1]

One Comment to “Papermaster Ordered to Stop Working, Claims He Did Nothing Wrong”

Cake Baker @ November 8th, 2008 at 12:50 pm
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What’s crazy is how many sagas Apple gets involved in right before our very eyes. It’s interesting to watch, but probably so sickeningly devastating for the company’s ability to relax, while its legal team works around the clock. Psystar and IBM are in the spotlight right now, but there have been TONS of lawsuits filed against Apple for the iPhone 3G, the ATT network, the false commercials. I mean, so many. The part of me that loves Apple wants to say “can’t these people stop exploiting the company for every penny they can get?” — and then the other side is like, “well, Apple is a HUGE multi-billion $ corp. so they should definitely be providing service as represented in their commercials.” double-sided everything.