I.B.M. executive who moved to Apple responds to lawsuit

Fri, Nov 7, 2008

Legal, News

Mark Papermaster, the former I.B.M executive sued by his old company to prevent him from working with Apple, has asserted in court documents un-earthed by InformationWeek that IBM and Apple are not competitors as IBM does not manufacture consumer electronics.

“To the best of my knowledge, IBM does not design, manufacture or market consumer electronic products,” said Mark Papermaster, in a court document filed Thursday. “Instead, IBM focuses on high-performance business systems such as information technology infrastructure, servers and information storage products, and operating systems software,” Papermaster noted.”

At Apple, Papermaster will work in the handheld devices group, and will oversee prodcuts like the iPhone and iPod touch.

InformationWeek has the full scoop here.

AppleInsider also adds an interesting dimension to this ongoing story:

Apple meanwhile supports its new hire’s point of view, according to extra details unearthed by CNet. The electronics maker admits in its own commentary that Papermaster was chosen for his technical knowledge — Mac hardware chief Bob Mansfield said early on in the hiring process that he “fits the bill” for knowledge of semiconductors — but that it was ultimately looking for a senior executive first and specific capabilities second…

Whether or not Apple and Papermaster are sincere has been called into question; CNet suggests that his claims of a too-narrow scope for his work may be a feint meant to dismiss the lawsuit even if it’s possible he may be in the position to expose the trade secrets at the heart of IBM’s complaint. As the new executive would still have some say over the features and speed of iPhone and iPod processors on an abstract level, he may be tangentially involved even if his level prevents him from directly guiding the chip designs.

AppleInsider’s coverage of the story can be found here.


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