iPod boss takes fight to IBM

Mark Papermaster, the ex-IBM executive trying to defect to Apple, has countersued his former employers.

iPod boss takes fight to IBM

Papermaster was IBM’s vice president of the company’s blade development unit, until he became Apple’s senior vice president of devices hardware engineering at the beginning of November.

However, IBM immediately sued claiming Papermaster signed a non-compete in 2006 which prevented him from working with a competitor for at least a year. A US court then ordered the executive to stop working immediately, while it files through the details.

Papermaster has now responded, filing his own suit which blasts IBM’s claims as unenforcable as they are governed by New York laws, and he has no ties to the state.

“Mr Papermaster has no substantial relationship to New York, in that he has resided and worked in Texas for the past 17 years, and he is going to work for Apple, which is a California corporation,” says Papermaster’s filing. “Both states hold that such non-competition agreements are unenforceable as a matter of public policy.”

The lawsuit also attacks the non-compete as being “unreasonably broad” as it restricts Papermaster from “working anywhere in the world based on the global scope of IBM’s business”.

The two sides will appear in court on 18 November.

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