IBM and Apple get nasty over new iPod recruit

Mark Papermaster, the man recruited from IBM to head up iPod and iPhone development at Apple, has had to leave his new job.

Papermaster is at the centre of a lawsuit with IBM, his former employer, who is claiming he is breaking a non-compete clause in his contract by going over to Apple.

Apple is now facing a rather large setback in the case as a federal judge has ordered Papermaster to stop his work at Apple until the case is resolved.

Papermaster was recruited to take over from long-serving senior Apple official Tony Fadell, who is leaving "for personal reasons".

Papermaster's lawyers have been arguing that the non-compete clause will cause damage to his career as it would basically mean he can't work in the industry he knows best.

The legal eagles are also arguing that Papermaster's new job as top man in the division handling the iPhone and iPod touch carries too narrow a scope to be a problem for trade secrets.

IBM is countering claiming that the very nature of the processors used in devices right from servers through to MP3 players do mean there is a risk for them because of the information Papermaster would have had access to at IBM.

"Electronic devices large and small are powered by the same type of intelligence, the microprocessor", IBM insists.

But Papermaster stated in response: "I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM".


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