IBM Sues to Block Executive from Moving to Apple

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-11-03

(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sued a top executive on Thursday to prevent him from joining Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), court documents showed.

IBM said Mark Papermaster, who was vice president of the company's Blade Development unit until last week, signed a noncompete agreement with IBM that would prevent him from accepting a job with a competitor until one year after leaving the company.

In the suit filed at the United States District Court in Manhattan, IBM said Papermaster was one of its top 300 managers and had access to a wide range of the company's intellectual property and trade secrets.

Papermaster, who was with IBM for the past 26 years, served as a member of the company's Integration & Values Team since 2006.

"In his capacity as a member of the I&VT, Mr. Papermaster has gained access to confidential information concerning the company's strategic plans, marketing plans and long term business opportunities, including the development of specific IBM products," the company said.

Papermaster and Apple could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Kim Coghill)