Update: judge orders Apple's new mobile head to stop work

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's plans for its new recruit from IBM, Mark Papermaster, have been dealt an at least temporary setback as a federal judge has ordered him to halt any work at his new employer.



US Federal District Judge Kenneth Karas late on Friday ordered the new executive to "immediately cease" work with Apple until the court had come to a decision on whether his employment there breaches the non-compete clause in his contract with IBM that prompted a lawsuit.



The ruling sets back Apple's plans to have Papermaster replace long-serving senior official Tony Fadell, who is leaving the elevated position at the consumer electronics maker for personal reasons.



Apple and Papermaster's lawyers have already mounted a defense in the legal filings meant to avert trouble for the candidate, arguing that his top spot in the division handling the iPhone and iPod touch carries too narrow a scope to risk trade secrets leaking out.



Lawyers for Papermaster also claim that requiring him to obey the non-compete clause, regardless of its particular relevance, would be "incredibly damaging" to his career as it would keep him out of touch with the industry.



IBM disagrees and contends that the nature of processors, regardless of whether they belong in the servers Papermaster would have dealt with or the ARM chips that Papermaster may see, makes it too dangerous to allow one of its senior staffers to switch hands.



"Electronic devices large and small are powered by the same type of intelligence, the microprocessor," the New York state-based company insists.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    IBM you should be ashamed of yourself.



    If you can't succeed in business without being bitter and twisted then you don't deserve to.
  • Reply 2 of 74
    ..peoples heads. Way to go IBM...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by parky View Post


    IBM you should be ashamed of yourself.



    If you can't succeed in business without being bitter and twisted then you don't deserve to.



  • Reply 3 of 74
    markbmarkb Posts: 153member
    "Electronic devices large and small are powered by the same type of intelligence, the microprocessor," the New York state-based company insists.



    This argument is lame. They might as well have said..."People at Apple breathe oxygen. We too breathe oxygen, therefore he cant go work there as they compete with us in the whole breathing area". IBM and Apple are in no way competitors and havent been since IBM sold off their notebook business. Heck, this guy was going into the consumer device sector, even further removed from IBMs realm. Hope justice is done on appeal.
  • Reply 4 of 74
    why is it that contracts like this are legal?! this is just one step away from indentured servitude
  • Reply 5 of 74
    I wonder what proportion of this lawsuit is driven by sour grapes over Apple's decision to drop PPC... it must be playing a part.
  • Reply 6 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shookster View Post


    I wonder what proportion of this lawsuit is driven by sour grapes over Apple's decision to drop PPC... it must be playing a part.



    IBM only had themselves to blame for that one.



    This is a shame for Apple, though I can understand IBM's point of view as I once trained someone up who immediately went into competition against me the moment he became useful. Waste of time, waste of money, and shot in the foot.

    Not really a comparable story I know, but thought I would share my perpetual annoyance with you anyway.
  • Reply 7 of 74
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    a federal judge has ordered him to halt any work at his new employer.



    Do I still get paid - -
  • Reply 8 of 74
    erunnoerunno Posts: 225member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shookster View Post


    I wonder what proportion of this lawsuit is driven by sour grapes over Apple's decision to drop PPC... it must be playing a part.



    AFAIK IBM more or less dropped Apple as they focused most of their development on the processors which would power the then upcoming new consoles (PS3, WII, XBOX360) and less and what they perceived the needs of a smaller customer (especially competitive notebooks CPUs). Actually, I can't blame them for that decision. They are probably making tons of money with the sales from the console CPUs. Plus, inventions like the Cell processor can be used in other devices as well so I doubt that the upper IBM management is suffering from sleep disorder having lost Apple as an customer.
  • Reply 9 of 74
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trevorlsciact View Post


    why is it that contracts like this are legal?! this is just one step away from indentured servitude



    In some states, non-competes aren't legal. I've heard that California law prohibits them. In NY or federal courts, that's probably a different story.



    I understand what you mean, but the problem is that over the period of employment, there are certain trade secrets learned by an employee that could be transferred to another company simply by the other company hiring them and having them do similar work. That time delay in part reduces the chance of predatory hiring that could induce a brain drain and transfer of valuable knowledge from the company that developed it to other companies that want to just take it. The time delay also allows time for the secrets to grow obsolete, a year can be a lot of time.
  • Reply 10 of 74
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,232moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Do I still get paid - -



    You would think that if an employer could enforce a non-compete, they would be required to compensate for it. Unless they already did of course by adding an extra year's salary onto Papermaster's pay up until termination.
  • Reply 11 of 74
    addisonaddison Posts: 1,185member
    I don't know why Apple doesn't just buy IBM, it would give them such an "in" to the corporate world.
  • Reply 12 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    In some states, NDAs aren't legal. I've heard that California law prohibits them. In NY or federal courts, that's probably a different story.



    I understand what you mean, but the problem is that over the period of employment, there are certain trade secrets learned by an employee that could be transferred to another company simply by the other company hiring them and having them do similar work. That time delay in part reduces the chance of predatory hiring that could induce a brain drain and transfer of valuable knowledge from the company that developed it to other companies that want to just take it. The time delay also allows time for the secrets to grow obsolete, a year can be a lot of time.



    Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete are two different things. This lawsuit is based on a non-compete, not an NDA.



    NDAs are actually easier to enforce, as they are more specific. Non-competes are much more difficult, as they basically say, "if you leave us, you'll have to find a completely different industry to work in".
  • Reply 13 of 74
    I don't understand why people feel like he shouldn't be held to his non-compete agreement. This man had a choice whether to enter into this contract or not to. He chose to, and he should be held to that contract.



    Somehow I doubt all you hypocrites would be bashing Apple if the head of the iphone department went to another electronic manufacturer and Apple was in IBM's position.



    This is a highly educated man who signed into an agreement he was fully aware of and understood completely, not some middle school dropout in the hood being fleeced by a fast talking salesman.
  • Reply 14 of 74
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dueces View Post


    I don't understand why people feel like he shouldn't be held to his non-compete agreement. This man had a choice whether to enter into this contract or not to. He chose to, and he should be held to that contract.



    Somehow I doubt all you hypocrites would be bashing Apple if the head of the iphone department went to another electronic manufacturer and Apple was in IBM's position.



    This is a highly educated man who signed into an agreement he was fully aware of and understood completely, not some middle school dropout in the hood being fleeced by a fast talking salesman.



    Just like all the people who signed iPhone agreements and then have nothing but complain about them. Just because he signed it does not make it legal.



    How many people do IBM recruit from the competition, they don't seem to mind then.

    It is the way business works and free movement of people should be supported not blocked.
  • Reply 15 of 74
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    If Apple would just let Papermaster keep working at IBM, there soon may be a Powerbook G5. They've almost got it.
  • Reply 16 of 74
    the U.S. Constitution GUARANTEES a person the right to make a living. That supersedes any non-compete document.



    unless IBM wants to pay this guy to sit home and watch Judge Judy they better quit wasting everyone's time.



    This judge should know better.
  • Reply 17 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dueces View Post


    I don't understand why people feel like he shouldn't be held to his non-compete agreement. This man had a choice whether to enter into this contract or not to. He chose to, and he should be held to that contract.



    Somehow I doubt all you hypocrites would be bashing Apple if the head of the iphone department went to another electronic manufacturer and Apple was in IBM's position.



    This is a highly educated man who signed into an agreement he was fully aware of and understood completely, not some middle school dropout in the hood being fleeced by a fast talking salesman.



    Dueces, because idiot lawyers told the buisness' owners that non-compete contracts were enforceable. Most people sign them with a wink-wink-nod-nod reluctance. Most states don't recognize them because the consequence of recognizing a non-compete clause is to deprive a person of the right to make a living. That FUNDAMENTAL right is guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution.



    Although, by your post, I'm guessing you are a fan of George Jr. and see the Constitution more as a guideline that can be ignored when it suits your needs.



    The only legal leg IBM has is defending the patents it holds if they were ever infringed upon. They have no prayer of keeping this dude from working.
  • Reply 18 of 74
    Well, I'm sure if IBM or MS poached some higher-ups at Apple with big money, you'd be crying bloody murder and laughing at IBM or MS when the court injunction happened.
  • Reply 19 of 74
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member
    This is funny because again, Apple is selectively trying to distort the legal system for corporate gain (as is IBM). On the one hand Apple is being a stickler about implied powers of their customer license agreements for their OS, in reference to Psystar. A reach to be sure. On the other hand, they pretend non-compete agreements don't mean dick! Each is a case of "do what we want, and let the lawyer fix it." And by the way I support Apple. But they should be more careful and logical about what they expect from the courtrooms.
  • Reply 20 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dueces View Post


    I don't understand why people feel like he shouldn't be held to his non-compete agreement. This man had a choice whether to enter into this contract or not to. He chose to, and he should be held to that contract.



    Somehow I doubt all you hypocrites would be bashing Apple if the head of the iphone department went to another electronic manufacturer and Apple was in IBM's position.



    This is a highly educated man who signed into an agreement he was fully aware of and understood completely, not some middle school dropout in the hood being fleeced by a fast talking salesman.



    I only agree with his hypocrisy statement. If this were the other way around the zealots, Appleistas and the like would be up in arms screaming to high heaven that the evil doer should be punished. Stone him. Off with his head. Screw him back to the Stone Age Steve. Hypocrites most of you.
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