The New York Times is reporting that I.B.M is suing one of its former executives to prevent him from leaving and working for Apple. According to I.B.M., the executive, whose name is Mark Papermaster, was one of their top managers and possesses a significant amount of confidential and proprietary information. I.B.M. asserts that Papermaster is subject to a covenant not to compete, and can thus not start working at a competing company until one year after his employment ends at I.B.M.
Why is Apple interested in Papermaster? The New York Times notes:
“Apple may also be interested in Mr. Papermaster’s processor design expertise. Earlier this year, Apple purchased PA Semi, a small microprocessor design firm that was developing microprocessors based on the I.B.M. Power design. At the time Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said that Apple would use that expertise to create hardware for its iPhones and iPods.”