Late last week former IBM Executive Mark Papermaster was ordered to stop working at Apple until further notice. News emerged yesterday that Papermaster may be about to seek financial compensation.
While New York Federal District Judge Kenneth Karas last week blocked IBM’s former vice president of microprocessor technology development from taking up his new position as at Apple, the parties will this week focus on the setting of a bond by IBM. According to InternetNews, this procedure is typical in the early stages of an injunction and is designed to make sure either party can be compensated if the injunction is found to be unjust.
The whole situation is still up in the air, depending on who you ask. IBM is convinced Mr. Papermaster’s post as Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering at Apple is a violation of a non-compete agreement the employee signed in 2006. The company believes that should Papermaster go ahead with his move to Apple he will be "providing to Apple technical and strategic advice on a variety of issues" according to IBM’s complaint.
However, while Papermaster’s non-compete agreement states he can’t work for a competitor for a full year following his departure from the company, he said IBM’s decision to allow him to continue working for a fortnight after he told the company he was moving to Apple (with unfettered access to all of his files and to the company’s entire computer network) meant the company’s claim that it would suffer irreparable harm or hardship due to ’inevitable disclosure’ of ’trade secrets’ was absurd.
Further, Papermaster insists, nothing about his new role will implicate any trade secrets of IBM. In his court filings, Mr Papermaster said, “Apple and IBM are not even competitors; IBM’s business is focused on large ’enterprise’ applications for businesses, whereas Apple’s is based on consumer electronics."
The court has set Nov. 18 as a status conference date for potential trial and discovery action.