U.S. judge orders Apple executive to stop work

“A U.S. District Court judge in New York ordered a newly hired Apple Inc. executive to stop work immediately because he might be violating an agreement with his former employer, IBM,” David Lawsky reports for Reuters.

“Federal District Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains ordered that Mark Papermaster ‘immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc until further order of this court,'” Lawsky reports.

“Apple announced on Tuesday that Papermaster would lead the engineering teams making Apple’s highly successful iPods and iPhones and that he would report directly to Chief Executive Steve Jobs. On Friday it said he would cease work for now,” Lawsky reports.

“‘We will comply with the court’s order but are confident that Mark Papermaster will be able to ultimately join Apple when the dust settles,’ a spokesman said,” Lawsky reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mark” for the heads up.]

38 Comments

  1. Well, there you go. It’s settled. Papermaster is on vacation until further notice.

    I’d go to Cancun, myself. Bone up on the Mayan calendar and wait for the world to end December 21, 2012.

    That’s when Microsoft will finally release Windows 7…. when the world is coming to an end. LOL

  2. Fantastic!!!!
    Carly Fiorina (?) CEO of HP gets fired, and receives a
    25 million dollar bonus while employees get laid off, sht, the DA shoulda stepped in on that note. Where’s the real justice?
    NY is such a BS state, they have an ‘at will’ clause already, where you can be fired for any reason without compensation (if your not a CEO), and now they’re stopping people from working. I doubt they’ll find IBM and Apple are ‘competitors’ since that issue is usually fundamental to these cases. Apple’s purchase of Semi Micro (?) to build custom chips will be for Apple’s proprietary use, not as a wholesaler. This guy would head the ipod/ iphone division, putting custom chips in consumer electronic designs which isn’t IBMs field. IBM wholesales for uses like Xboxes.
    Of course, I could be talking out my ass, and be wrong. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. “Of course, I could be talking out my ass, and be wrong”

    Absolutely you could.

    In this case Papermaster has an agreement with IBM, so what he can do will be determined by the terms of that agreement.

    These agreements can be challenged and several factors are taken into account.

    OFor example it is rare in California anyway, for a low level employee who signed such a thing and received no money for it to be held to the terms.

    It is almost certain that a business owner who signs such an agreement as part of the sale of a business will be held to the terms.

    There are obviously a lot if situations in between those extremes.

    Papermaster will be considered to be more sophisticated and in a better bargaining position than a low level employee who signed such an agreement un-negotiated as part of routine hiring procedures. If he got significant compensation or severance for doing so, he may be able to be held to it.

  4. @R2

    The judge is just doing his job, which is to treat both sides fairly. The injunction that the judge issued is a precautionary measure that is sometimes warranted in cases before the merits of the matter are decided. And, yeah, harassing a federal judge really helps Apple’s case. Take your fanaticism and stupidity elsewhere.

  5. Freddy,

    Apple is simply trying to make a strategic acquisition by hiring someone who is an expert in their field. it just so happens that Papermaster is currently (rather, was) employed at IBM.

    IBM doesn’t want him to leave (since they offered him more money to stay) so, they’re now using the courts to try to compel Papermaster to not work at Apple; at least, not for a year.

    It will all work out.

  6. @Guy B. Jones,

    No. It’s called freedom of speech. If I want to try to send President Bush an email or try calling him on the phone to call him a fucknut, it’s my right and prerogative.

  7. As a hint, I ask my employees to sign a 135 page non-disclosure non-compete deed (not agreement – a deed is more enforceable) which disallows them from ever using any of the information that they acquire while working with me as it relates to our business and any similar business (like unto it) and it is in effect for 25 years. It is a globally enforceable documents and they agree to the dictates of the home court.

    And I am not IBM or Apple. I am sure their non-competes are stronger.

    I think it was foolish for Papremaster to accept employment with Apple until he received a release from IBM – quietly. Negotiated. Co-operatively! Now IBM will need to save face and include perceived or potential harm as a reason to stop the ballgame.

    I think Mr. Jobs needs to find an iVP for the position. (You do remember that the iCEO was the designation that Jobs first took on when he came back to Apple and it meant interim)?

    cheers

  8. Cubert,

    The “right and prerogative” of exercising one’s “freedom of speech” is a good and noble thing. It would be great if everyone shared your penchant and devotion to this noble and tolerant exercise of liberty. Too often society’s lame-brained bigots of intolerance and bias seem capable of silencing their critics with censorship rather than develop an intelligent or witty argument.

    @ @Guy B’ing Silly,

    My bad. It is difficult at times to distinguish sarcasm from idiocy here at MDN.

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