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MacRumors
Nov 8, 2008, 04:04 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/11/08/judge-orders-apples-new-hire-to-stop-work/)

The drama continues for Apple's new employee Mark Papermaster who recently took a job at Apple (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/30/apple-recruits-ibm-chip-designer-ibm-files-lawsuit/) to replace Tony Fadell (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/11/04/tony-fadell-father-of-ipod-leaves-apple/). The transition has received more attention than usual due to a lawsuit (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/10/30/apple-recruits-ibm-chip-designer-ibm-files-lawsuit/) filed by IBM.

Papermaster was said to have a non-compete agreement in place in which he agreed not to work at a competitor for a period of one year following his employment at IBM.

A new report (http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idINN0743124420081108) reveals that a District Court judge has now ordered Papermaster to immediately stop work due to the possible violation of the agreement. Papermaster has argued that IBM and Apple are not competitors. Apple has said they will comply with the court's order but "are confident that Mark Papermaster will be able to ultimately join Apple when the dust settles".

Papermaster was hired at Apple to replace Fadell as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering. Fortune provides (http://apple20.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/11/08/the-papermaster-chronicles-an-apple-vs-ibm-timeline/) a detailed timeline of the events of Papermaster's recruitment. Steve Jobs was said to have offered Papermaster an offer he couldn't refuse, a "once in a liftetime opportunity". Papermaster accepted the job offer despite a significant counteroffer from IBM.



Article Link: Judge Orders Apple's New Hire to Stop Work (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/11/08/judge-orders-apples-new-hire-to-stop-work/)



firstapple
Nov 8, 2008, 04:06 PM
Wow, took a while for MacRumors to catch on to this news. I think it was on Gizmodo earlier this morning. I think this will get sorted out soon, and hopefully IBM loses this one.

dukebound85
Nov 8, 2008, 04:06 PM
thats a consequence when you sign a non-compete. should have told ibm he had an offer before hand and used it as levergae to possibly get a higher salary at ibm lol

11800506
Nov 8, 2008, 04:07 PM
I hope that this mess will get cleared soon, since IBM and Apple aren't competitors and Pagemaster's position doesn't even directly deal with the creation of chips for devices as he is just the head of hardware.

pismodude2
Nov 8, 2008, 04:07 PM
I don't think this has any real legal standing, after all, Apple stopped making processors, right?

arn
Nov 8, 2008, 04:08 PM
thats a consequence when you sign a non-compete. should have told ibm he had an offer before hand and used it as levergae to possibly get a higher salary at ibm lol

he apparently did get a large offer from IBM.

I don't think this has any real legal standing, after all, Apple stopped making processors, right?

what do you think papermaster will be doing at IBM? Apple is said to be working on ARM processors.

arn

AlphaAnt
Nov 8, 2008, 04:22 PM
thats a consequence when you sign a non-compete. should have told ibm he had an offer before hand and used it as levergae to possibly get a higher salary at ibm lol

Rule 1 of changing jobs: Never accept a counteroffer. The fact that it took that to keep you will show that your company loyalty is shot. Most people who take counteroffers usually leave anyway within a year.

There's an easy way to get around the non-compete: jump ship to a job in California. California law has precedent where it has invalidated out of state noncompetes. And if I recall, 1 Infinity Loop happens to be in California. The New York courts were the ones to issue the work stoppage, but Apple can countersue in California courts to have the clause eliminated.

mogzieee
Nov 8, 2008, 04:27 PM
Urgh, can't IBM just go screw themselves, please?

Gm7Cadd9
Nov 8, 2008, 04:31 PM
by the sound of the previous story it sounds like the court will side with Apple... however it does make sense that they will prevent him from working until the decision is reached. I wouldn't worry too much.

dukebound85
Nov 8, 2008, 04:31 PM
Urgh, can't IBM just go screw themselves, please?

what if you were ibm and your top guy leaves for a similar company after he had signed a non-compete?

i dont know how people can take apple's side on this to be honest as the job would on some level be "competeting" with ibm. tends to happen when you are an expert/specialist in a topic

rpaloalto
Nov 8, 2008, 04:34 PM
IBM is just sore from Apple dumping the power pc chip, in favor of Intel.

mathcolo
Nov 8, 2008, 04:34 PM
Screw IBM, their microprocessors and all of their technology is crud.

Stop being whiners and don't be so stupid.:rolleyes: Apple and IBM don't really compete anyway.

geerlingguy
Nov 8, 2008, 04:35 PM
This whole ordeal simply seems 'odd' - I actually avoided one job offer simply because of the non-competitive clause, in addition to some other scary clauses about their right to keep any ideas I had on the job.

I steer clear of companies that don't allow for personal freedom ;-)

Unfortunately, it was an Apple job that I declined :-(

Kilamite
Nov 8, 2008, 04:36 PM
Can understand and think it is a fair result business wise. From a consumer point of view who wants the products, it isn't a good turn out.

Hattig
Nov 8, 2008, 04:38 PM
thats a consequence when you sign a non-compete. should have told ibm he had an offer before hand and used it as levergae to possibly get a higher salary at ibm lol

Apple has never been identified as a competitor within IBM when he worked there - that's in his court submission. That pretty much seals it in his favour. He isn't meant to be psychic.

That's before the fact that it is clearly wrong to bar an individual's ability to work where-ever they like. That's a basic human right in this day and age. Or maybe IBM would like to pay all their employees after they leave their work during a period of retraining into an equivalent role - in his case that's probably 20 years or more of experience he would have to gain in a different area of business.

dukebound85
Nov 8, 2008, 04:42 PM
This whole ordeal simply seems 'odd' - I actually avoided one job offer simply because of the non-competitive clause, in addition to some other scary clauses about their right to keep any ideas I had on the job.

I steer clear of companies that don't allow for personal freedom ;-)

Unfortunately, it was an Apple job that I declined :-(

you cant be serious

of course any company will have the rights to your idea if you are working for them and came up with the ideas as a result of you using their facilities, knowledge, and time

its not uncommon at ALL to sign non-competes and nda's for pretty much any job thats above retail/food type level of jobs

sounds like you need to wise up to how things are done in the real world:rolleyes:

qtx43
Nov 8, 2008, 04:43 PM
Non-compete agreements are hard to enforce, and arguably not a legitimate agreement in the first place. But IBM and Apple are clearly competitors, the RDF notwithstanding. They both sell personal computers; it's really not a close call.

Kilamite
Nov 8, 2008, 04:45 PM
Apple has never been identified as a competitor within IBM when he worked there - that's in his court submission. That pretty much seals it in his favour. He isn't meant to be psychic.

So if a new company that produced chips opened today and he left to work for them would you say the same thing? Since they technically were never identified as a competitor when he was at IBM because they never existed then.

Apple produces ARM processors, that makes them a competitor, whether they were or not at the time he was at IBM.

dukebound85
Nov 8, 2008, 04:45 PM
Apple has never been identified as a competitor within IBM when he worked there - that's in his court submission. That pretty much seals it in his favour. He isn't meant to be psychic.

That's before the fact that it is clearly wrong to bar an individual's ability to work where-ever they like. That's a basic human right in this day and age. Or maybe IBM would like to pay all their employees after they leave their work during a period of retraining into an equivalent role - in his case that's probably 20 years or more of experience he would have to gain in a different area of business.

once again, you cant be serious....

when you sign something saying you cant compete or whatnot, then you are agreeing to it. if you dont like it, dont work there. otherwise be prepared to suffer the consequences legally

rnizlek
Nov 8, 2008, 04:48 PM
Non-compete agreements are hard to enforce, and arguably not a legitimate agreement in the first place. But IBM and Apple are clearly competitors, the RDF notwithstanding. They both sell personal computers; it's really not a close call.

Last time I checked, IBM stopped selling personal computers when they sold their Thinkpad division to Levano. Though I could be wrong - but I haven't seen or heard of an IBM PC in years.

cmgallacher
Nov 8, 2008, 05:00 PM
Buy IBM.

Hattig
Nov 8, 2008, 05:02 PM
So if a new company that produced chips opened today and he left to work for them would you say the same thing? Since they technically were never identified as a competitor when he was at IBM because they never existed then.

Apple produces ARM processors, that makes them a competitor, whether they were or not at the time he was at IBM.

1. Apple haven't made ARM based chips yet.
2. IBM doesn't make ARM based chips, as far as I am aware.
3. Apple aren't making ARM based chips for general sale by third parties, whereas that is a key IBM aim with their PowerPC based chips.
4. Apple aren't going to take business away from IBM, however they will take business away from IBM competitors (Samsung especially) with their upcoming ARM based chips.

I just think this is a very bitter move by IBM. It's just not very classy.

Hattig
Nov 8, 2008, 05:05 PM
once again, you cant be serious....

when you sign something saying you cant compete or whatnot, then you are agreeing to it. if you dont like it, dont work there. otherwise be prepared to suffer the consequences legally

European vs American view I guess.

What about when all job contracts have these clauses? Then you have no choice, you're locked to a company effectively (or you survive on the breadline on social benefits because you choose not to work), because your skills won't be allowed to be used in any other business because that will be seen as a competing company. Then you drive down wages, reduce benefits ... modern day corporate slavery.

That's why many areas have made such terms illegal, such as California.

patricksan
Nov 8, 2008, 05:08 PM
I don't know law in USA... but is it easier just to open a third company that hires Mark Papermaster, and this company send invoices to Apple?

Ade-iMac-177
Nov 8, 2008, 05:11 PM
Hmm. I don't really see how being competitors is relevant when you consider the position he is trying to take and Apples recent decisions. He may know intimate secrets about the PowerPC architecture or whatever IBM call it now but he is going to work for the iPod and iPhone division so while, yes, he can offer insight in how to design chips it's not like he can give Apple the plans to a Power chip - not exactly the most mobile and power efficient of chips. And Apple are not going to produce competitor Power chips for their servers - they can't do a better job than Intel or IBM when starting from scratch like they would have to do.

I think IBM are doing this just because they are trying to force him to stay with them.

skubish
Nov 8, 2008, 05:12 PM
non compete agreements never hold up in US courts. Your right to work always overrides a company's interests in these matters. The courts have always ruled you have a right to use your experiences gained at one job to get a better job somewhere else.

You just can't bring or share company secrets with a competitor.

I think loosely the courts could see that Apple and IBM are competitors.

azajohns
Nov 8, 2008, 05:15 PM
I can see both sides to this one. Does make you think though, imagine this was the norm for everyone everywhere. Every time I've left a job I've technically moved on to a competitor. I'd be flippin burgers for a year every time I changed jobs. :confused:

qtx43
Nov 8, 2008, 05:16 PM
Last time I checked, IBM stopped selling personal computers when they sold their Thinkpad division to Levano. Though I could be wrong - but I haven't seen or heard of an IBM PC in years.Yes, you are wrong. They still sell workstations, which I guess you could say really aren't PCs. And yes, they sold the majority of their PC business to Lenovo, but also bought part of Lenovo in the deal (about 19-20% IIRC), so it's part of IBM. And they also have a marketing deal with Lenovo. So IBM still markets PCs, and puts the IBM brand on them. And by "markets" I mean to say "sells". Though you could argue they're mainly "business" computers and not "personal" computers, that's a distinction without a difference.

Sun Baked
Nov 8, 2008, 05:26 PM
Too bad he was in NY. :(

If it is filed in California, it is one of the hardest states for the non-compete type contracts to be upheld -- since they are illegal and against public policy there.

May had a recent ruling a few months ago.

mixedsig
Nov 8, 2008, 05:33 PM
I think that IBM is concerned about IP and chip design know-how's. I see definite competition between two companies. Also it could be a personal relation issue - that he attracted and caused this hassle, since it is very common for an IBM employee leaves for others - that's how IBM maintains workforce through competition.

Di9it8
Nov 8, 2008, 05:34 PM
Do you think the judge may be waiting for the G5 Powerbook?:D

Taal
Nov 8, 2008, 05:45 PM
Buy IBM.

I don't think Apple have enough money for that. ;)

mysticusa
Nov 8, 2008, 05:53 PM
what people are missing in the article and the case is the guys who is leaving IBM is not a floor wiping, toilet cleaning guy... He is one of the top executives, and has very important trade secrets in his experience within the company...

NON-COMPETE laws at certain levels can be made 100% legal for certain period of time!

Think of it this way, you are a GENERAL of The Army, and you quit your job to Join Russian Army, how is that sound?

Sounds a bit extreme right, and you can say it is a different story, well it is different story but same principal... if you get it...

ChrisNH
Nov 8, 2008, 05:57 PM
This is stupid of him to suggest that Apple and IBM aren't competitors. That argument would have worked fine if he were going from Victoria Secret to Minute Maid Orange juice. Not so much here.

dukebound85
Nov 8, 2008, 06:06 PM
how can people say they dont compete?

ibm develops chips

apple is researching/developing arm chips

to say they dont compete is to say you have knowledge of each companies roadmap and fact is you dont

ibm is fully justified in doing this

pimentoLoaf
Nov 8, 2008, 06:14 PM
Local TV weatherguy (Milwaukee, WI) jumped ship to another station under a covenant a few years ago.. He could work at the new station behind-the-scenes, just not in front of the camera for at least a year.

Anti-compete clauses don't seem fair to the employee, but if you sign the contract, too bad.

zelmo
Nov 8, 2008, 06:15 PM
non compete agreements never hold up in US courts. Your right to work always overrides a company's interests in these matters. The courts have always ruled you have a right to use your experiences gained at one job to get a better job somewhere else.

You just can't bring or share company secrets with a competitor.

I think loosely the courts could see that Apple and IBM are competitors.

The US company I work for has consistently and 100% successfully sued every employee who signed a non-compete, left the company and then violated the terms of that non-compete. They DO hold up in court. We've won at least a dozen in court, and had at least that many cases settled in our favor before going to court.

Depending on the specific terms of the contract, IBM can at the very least keep this guy from holding a key position at Apple for whatever length of time the contract stipulates.

KALLT
Nov 8, 2008, 06:16 PM
At least Apple complied with the order. I guess they don't want to start a fight on this. It's not Apple's nature. :) Let him wait a year. And besides: If he starts a lawsuit against IBM the court won't judge any faster than that.

aoresteen
Nov 8, 2008, 06:51 PM
I've seen a lot of non-compete clauses and they are all different. No one has posted here the exact wording of the non-compete that IBM has. So all we have is speculation.

The US courts HAVE enforced non-competes. Results vary with the state. A few years back we have an employee leave and we prevented him from joining a competitor via his non-compete. We just called his new compamy and told them about the non-compete and they said fine, end of story.

Theses cases are heard in STATE courts so it can vary with the state, judge, and content of the agreement.

mathcolo
Nov 8, 2008, 06:53 PM
I don't know law in USA... but is it easier just to open a third company that hires Mark Papermaster, and this company send invoices to Apple?

That's.... clever! Interesting workaround...

puckhead193
Nov 8, 2008, 06:54 PM
Steve Jobs was said to have offered Papermaster an offer he couldn't refuse, a "once in a liftetime opportunity".

I wonder what it was... all the ipods he wants for life?

Abstract
Nov 8, 2008, 07:13 PM
once again, you cant be serious....

when you sign something saying you cant compete or whatnot, then you are agreeing to it. if you dont like it, dont work there. otherwise be prepared to suffer the consequences legally


European vs American view I guess.


It's a European view that contracts and agreements don't have to be followed? :confused:

I'm with Dukebound on that point. If you sign a legally binding agreement, don't just expect to be able to walk away without penalty.

On the other hand, if IBM had previously identified which companies were considered "competitors", and if Apple's name wasn't mentioned, nor was it on a list of some sort, then he should be allowed to keep the job.

irun5k
Nov 8, 2008, 07:18 PM
This would be an issue for the courts in California? Each state has its own laws in this regard.

A few years ago I took a job that was requiring me to sign a really ridiculous non-compete (Florida). I had a lawyer look it over, and he said it was total rubbish- most of the clauses I was concerned about had no legal standing whatsoever. I don't remember the particulars, but it was written in a way that would basically prohibit me from working almost anywhere, for quite a while after leaving (over a year.) Well, as a software engineer and not a 20 million a year CEO, I couldn't afford to not work for over a year, or take some job that didn't make any use of my earning potential.

Anyway, I recall him saying that CA's laws in this regard were some of the most favorable in the nation to the employee. I can see a need for this kind of thing for high value guys like Papermaster who could actually transfer some level of IP from one company to another. But for the average working joe it seems a little ridiculous.

Small White Car
Nov 8, 2008, 07:30 PM
how can people say they dont compete?

ibm develops chips

apple is researching/developing arm chips

But Apple isn't selling their chips. They only use them in their own products.

Thus, IBM sells chips. Apple does not.

Apple sells iPods and iPhones and personal computers. IBM does none of these.

Now, I'm not a lawyer, the courts may say they're competitors. But surely you can see how people can at least SAY they're not competitors, right? They don't sell the same products at all.

rs7
Nov 8, 2008, 07:38 PM
But Apple isn't selling their chips. They only use them in their own products.

Thus, IBM sells chips. Apple does not.

Apple sells iPods and iPhones and personal computers. IBM does none of these.

Now, I'm not a lawyer, the courts may say they're competitors. But surely you can see how people can at least SAY they're not competitors, right? They don't sell the same products at all.

Apple is selling them, but inside their computers.

davidee
Nov 8, 2008, 07:42 PM
maybe I am just naive but rarely do employees really seek out to screw their former employers, if anything it is to find an environment that is more agreeable w/out needing ramp-up time while staying in the same salary bracket.

Guess as I live in TX and have worked for 3 companies in CA, they can ask me to sign whatever but good luck enforcing it.

Maybe management and the companies they work for should try and _*suck less*_ then people would be happier and just stay put (blah blah blah advancement, growth, etc yadda yadda yadda whatever... most content people will stay).

bring the flames....

Gray-Wolf
Nov 8, 2008, 07:52 PM
Best thing the guy can do, is wait for the time to run out, then work for apple. Just be careful of what you sign. ;)

brad.c
Nov 8, 2008, 07:59 PM
So if IBM wins their lawsuit, does that mean Papermaster will

1. Go back to Blue? Seems a little dangerous to re-cross that now-smoldering bridge.

2. Go to Apple, and IBM will be awarded monetary penalties (doubtful if the courts will issue a stop-work order).

3. Twist in the wind for a year?

4. Take a "sponsored" vacation for a year?

I imagine Apple would have known the risks in making the offer, as much as Papermaster did in accepting it. Is Steve obligated in any way to renumerate him for any loss of wage damages in the interim?

dex22
Nov 8, 2008, 08:10 PM
I'd like to contribute some facts:

This guy is from Austin, TX. Apple has a campus in Austin that handles iPhone and iPod matters.

Texas is a "right to work" state.

http://www.statesman.com/business/content/business/stories/technology/11/08/1108apple.html

That is all.

28monkeys
Nov 8, 2008, 08:24 PM
guess everyone does own something to IBM , so stop scalding on IBM please. Wherever this fellow is, i bet he can help to produce the next big thing for us all

kanon14
Nov 8, 2008, 09:08 PM
Can't Papermaster just start a company of his own and Apple acquire it like the month after? Wouldn't this eliminate all this mess? :confused:

yoink
Nov 8, 2008, 09:33 PM
Let's not be too harsh with IBM folks. They went to bat against SCO and have been one of the world's most ethical employers (one of the first to disallow the collection of genetic data of their employees - and the trend setter there and elsewhere.)

The guy did sign a non-compete. Who are we to say whether it applies or not? The courts will decide, until then, other than Mark, Apple and IBM, is it even argument worthy?

ryanwarsaw
Nov 8, 2008, 10:05 PM
Can't Papermaster just start a company of his own and Apple acquire it like the month after? Wouldn't this eliminate all this mess? :confused:

I would assume so. He can research anyting he wants as far as I know. However he can't work directly with Apple which is only a slight set back.

joeshell383
Nov 8, 2008, 10:13 PM
Yes, you are wrong. They still sell workstations, which I guess you could say really aren't PCs. And yes, they sold the majority of their PC business to Lenovo, but also bought part of Lenovo in the deal (about 19-20% IIRC), so it's part of IBM. And they also have a marketing deal with Lenovo. So IBM still markets PCs, and puts the IBM brand on them. And by "markets" I mean to say "sells". Though you could argue they're mainly "business" computers and not "personal" computers, that's a distinction without a difference.

Show me where they still sell workstations. qtx43 is right. IBM and Apple don't compete in that space. IBM sold its PC division to Lenovo.

Saladinos
Nov 8, 2008, 10:16 PM
once again, you cant be serious....

when you sign something saying you cant compete or whatnot, then you are agreeing to it. if you dont like it, dont work there. otherwise be prepared to suffer the consequences legally

Actually, contracts aren't legal just because you say so. A judge can overrule anything if they deem it to be illegal or just plain unfair. Whatever he signed is irrelevant - what matters is if IBM's complaint that he will use their trade secrets at Apple can stand up. If it can't, the judge will decide that he has every right to work to Apple.

That's why most of the world doesn't bother with things like pre-nuptials. My uncle's a high-court judge, and he reckons they're not worth the paper they're printed on. I think you grossly underestimate what Judges do - they don't just follow rail-track like rules. Laws are much more flexible, and contract law is almost wide open.

ruutiveijari
Nov 8, 2008, 10:44 PM
European vs American view I guess.
Non competitive -clauses are perfectly legal in Europe and are widely used. They're limited to six months in most european countries.
Laws are much more flexible, and contract law is almost wide open.
That might be in common law countries such as USA and UK because common law is created and refined by judges. Continental law on the other hand is the predominant system of law in the world and within that system contracts are very highly upheld and restricted. As are judges too.

Pacta sunt servanda, "agreements must be kept".

SkippyThorson
Nov 8, 2008, 11:04 PM
"Steve Jobs was said to have offered Papermaster an offer he couldn't refuse, a "once in a liftetime opportunity". Papermaster accepted the job offer despite a significant counteroffer from IBM."

http://static.obolog.com/multimedia/fotos/72000/71530/71530-59446.jpg

That's all I have to say. :)

CalBoy
Nov 8, 2008, 11:22 PM
There's an easy way to get around the non-compete: jump ship to a job in California. California law has precedent where it has invalidated out of state noncompetes. And if I recall, 1 Infinity Loop happens to be in California. The New York courts were the ones to issue the work stoppage, but Apple can countersue in California courts to have the clause eliminated.

Wouldn't that trigger a challenge in Federal court then (interstate commerce and all)?

I don't think the problem would just "disappear" like that.
I don't know law in USA... but is it easier just to open a third company that hires Mark Papermaster, and this company send invoices to Apple?

Pretty sure that would violate the judge's orders.

Clever legal maneuvering and loopholes are more the stuff of TV shows than they are of real life.

That might be in common law countries such as USA and UK because common law is created and refined by judges. Continental law on the other hand is the predominant system of law in the world and within that system contracts are very highly upheld and restricted. As are judges too.

Pacta sunt servanda, "agreements must be kept".

Even so, I'm sure no European judge would enforce a contract that breaks the law. That's really all American judges do when they void contracts.


As for the story itself, am I correct in understanding that he only has to follow the non-compete clause if he collects the extra bonus salary? Why not just not collect and work for Apple?

fleshman03
Nov 8, 2008, 11:33 PM
Just read the article and not the posts so I'm sorry if this was covered.

In this economy- with the workforce how it is, how is this guy worth all the hassle? Is he really one of a kind or can someone else with a comparable working knowledge be hired without having to hire lawyers?

Or is this just a ploy to get the inside dibs on what IBM is working on? If that's the case, I'd have to agree with IBM. If not, then Apple gets my agreement- for all it's worth.

itcheroni
Nov 8, 2008, 11:56 PM
It probably doesn't matter if California has the most lenient compete laws, because...

1) IBM most likely included a choice of venue and law within the contract, specifying the state and law to be used. It will probably be in NY, or wherever, and use NY law. Even if the ruling comes from California, they may use another state's laws.

2) IBM is the one bringing the suit. They decide where to sue. You can't sign a contract in NY under NY law and hide under California law. Papermaster could only hope to remove it from a state court to a federal court, if possible.

digitalbiker
Nov 9, 2008, 12:37 AM
It probably doesn't matter if California has the most lenient compete laws, because...

1) IBM most likely included a choice of venue and law within the contract, specifying the state and law to be used. It will probably be in NY, or wherever, and use NY law. Even if the ruling comes from California, they may use another state's laws.

2) IBM is the one bringing the suit. They decide where to sue. You can't sign a contract in NY under NY law and hide under California law. Papermaster could only hope to remove it from a state court to a federal court, if possible.

IBM might be able to force the suit in New York, but I don't see how a New York court can have jurisdiction over a California employment law.

California, Texas and other states are "Right to work" states. One employer can not prevent a former employee from making a living no matter what they signed as a condition of employment.

I would think that under New York law, IBM might be able to prevent him from working for a competitor in New York. But how can they prevent him from working for a company in California.

Doesn't the state courts jurisdiction end at the state border?

Eddyisgreat
Nov 9, 2008, 12:55 AM
Man i'm sorry but this is awsome.

Job's personally wants this guy on their team and is willing to keep his seat warm for a year.

Gotta get some of that skill set.

emulator
Nov 9, 2008, 02:55 AM
Man i'm sorry but this is awesome.

Job's personally wants this guy on their team and is willing to keep his seat warm for a year.
Or is Jobs that desperate for Fadell's leaving so sudden?

itcheroni
Nov 9, 2008, 03:35 AM
IBM might be able to force the suit in New York, but I don't see how a New York court can have jurisdiction over a California employment law.

California, Texas and other states are "Right to work" states. One employer can not prevent a former employee from making a living no matter what they signed as a condition of employment.

I would think that under New York law, IBM might be able to prevent him from working for a competitor in New York. But how can they prevent him from working for a company in California.

Doesn't the state courts jurisdiction end at the state border?

Well, I may be wrong, but every state must give "full faith and credit" to the laws, contracts, debts and so on of every other state. So if you get married in Vegas, it will be valid in California (Gay marriage doesn't work this way, but that's an anomaly caused by discrimination). If you rack up debt in one state, they can come try and collect it if you go to another state. If you check all the fine print on your credit cards, you'll see you can either be haled into a Delaware court or into arbitration (meaning it will be taken entirely out of the US legal system).

But in this case, there was a contract, and if the contract has venue and choice of law clauses, it will be enforced unless there is a good reason not to. In fact, you can include a choice of law that isn't even American. I read an international case, where both parties agreed to Illinois courts but to apply the law of the country of the other party.

The principal is freedom of contract. One should have the freedom to enter and be bound by a contract without the state butting in.

MikeAtari
Nov 9, 2008, 05:55 AM
Urgh, can't IBM just go screw themselves, please?

This looks like another in a long line of IBM acting as Microsoft's b*tch.

MikeAtari
Nov 9, 2008, 06:01 AM
Let's not be too harsh with IBM folks. They went to bat against SCO and have been one of the world's most ethical employers (one of the first to disallow the collection of genetic data of their employees - and the trend setter there and elsewhere.)

The guy did sign a non-compete. Who are we to say whether it applies or not? The courts will decide, until then, other than Mark, Apple and IBM, is it even argument worthy?

Let's give them the HELL they deserve.
- They ship US jobs to India
- They attempt to Kill off SUN, and are kissing the ass of Microsoft
- They've attempted to make Apple laptop's irrelevant by POOR support of PowerPC
- Now, they are attempting to block the development of superior IPod's from Apple, in an area they don't offer product.
- They've become Microsoft's bitch.
:p

cmcbridejr
Nov 9, 2008, 06:51 AM
Let's give them the HELL they deserve.
- They ship US jobs to India
- They attempt to Kill off SUN, and are kissing the ass of Microsoft
- They've attempted to make Apple laptop's irrelevant by POOR support of PowerPC
- Now, they are attempting to block the development of superior IPod's from Apple, in an area they don't offer product.
- They've become Microsoft's bitch.
:p

Dude, chill out on the hating.

IBM is no worse than Apple or any other company in their practices.

IBM has spent billions of dollars more than any other company on research and development to consistently be among the top 3 companies in the world to receive U.S. Patents and Trademarks.

I don't blame them for going after the non-compete clause. The amount of inside information and trade secrets known has got to be insane.

Apple is once again trying to be the "Pirates of Silicon Valley."

Having said that, I work in the tech industry for another company that happens to consistently be among the top three companies in the world to receive U.S. Patents and Trademarks. I have seen and heard about a lot of these cases, and must say that the non-compete agreements can be difficult to enforce in court.

drsmithy
Nov 9, 2008, 08:15 AM
It's a European view that contracts and agreements don't have to be followed? :confused:

More likely a European view that you can't contractually sign away "rights" (eg: something like a "right to work") in much the same way you can't turn yourself into a slave by signing a contract with an 'owner'.

In my mind, non-competes should be ruled unenforcable if they are not accompanied by an agreement to pay the employee's full salary after they quit, for the entire non-compete period (including any fringe benefits they had as an employee).

BigD58
Nov 9, 2008, 08:45 AM
HaHa! I love hearing that IBM is pissed!:D

BJWanlund
Nov 9, 2008, 08:57 AM
IBM = A company I flat refuse to buy ANYTHING from in the foreseeable future.

Whoever said IBM is being Micro$oft's b*tch was absolutely RIGHT ON!

BJ

Mr Maui
Nov 9, 2008, 09:06 AM
Non-compete agreements are hard to enforce, and arguably not a legitimate agreement in the first place. But IBM and Apple are clearly competitors, the RDF notwithstanding. They both sell personal computers; it's really not a close call.

IBM and Apple are NOT competitors in the area for which the guy was hired. He was hired to head the iPod / iPhone division of Apple. Last time I checked, IBM did not make portable music devices or phones.

IBM sold off their personal computer division to Lenovo if I recall. They sell business-level servers. That is not competitive to what Papermaster was hired for in any way. Thereby Apple is not a competitor.

Additionally, if there was a list of companies "known" to Papermaster (meaning clearly defined by IBM) during his employment which were competitors (i.e. Sun Micro) and Apple was not on the list, then Papermaster cannot be left to "assume" or "know by osmosis/telepathy" that IBM considered Apple a competitor.

LethalWolfe
Nov 9, 2008, 12:12 PM
I am not a lawyer, but from talking w/lawyers generally judges will only enforce non-compete agreements that are narrowly defined and 'reasonable' in the limitations put on the employee (including duration and geographic location). It doesn't take much of an imagination to see the problems if employers could write up anything as a non-compete and have it be ironclad. All employees would basically become indentured servants.

W/o knowing the details of the agreement all we can do is aimlessly speculate, but this quote from IBM might be telling. From the article linked to in the main page:

Papermaster also argued that there were signficant differences between between the two companies because IBM makes big machines for big business and Apple makes little devices for consumers.

IBM disagreed.

"Electronic devices large and small are powered by the same type of intelligence, the microprocessor," IBM argued.
If IBM is saying that Papermaster cannot work at any company that makes/designs anything w/a microprocessor for one year I think they are high as a kite. What's the guy supposed to do after 25 years in that industry, work at Wal-Mart for a year?

Well, I may be wrong, but every state must give "full faith and credit" to the laws, contracts, debts and so on of every other state.
In CA non-competes are illegal and CA doesn't recognize non-competes signed in other states, AFAIK.


Lethal

itcheroni
Nov 9, 2008, 01:12 PM
I just read this on Wiki

"Whether California courts are required by the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution to enforce equitable judgments from courts of other states, having personal jurisdiction over the defendant, that enjoin competition or are contrary to important public interests in California is an issue that has not yet been decided."

Looks like an issue of first impression. Should be interesting. If California decides to void non-compete clauses from other States, it will be the only other situation besides gay marriage that I know of where a State refuses the follow the US Constitution's full faith and credit clause.

BenRoethig
Nov 9, 2008, 01:22 PM
I don't think this has any real legal standing, after all, Apple stopped making processors, right?

But they just bought a processor design company. They also have direct competition to IBM in the form of the xServe

Nemesis
Nov 9, 2008, 04:10 PM
Steve Jobs was said to have offered Papermaster an offer he couldn't refuse, a "once in a liftetime opportunity". Papermaster accepted the job offer despite a significant counteroffer from IBM.


Ah, you mean Jobs offered him a salary twice as big as Jobs' own!
$2 a year! :D

ridgezin
Nov 9, 2008, 04:40 PM
Non-competes signed in another state are rarely enforceable for employees working within California. There are many examples of non-California companies losing these cases in the California courts. I used to work for a Fortune 500 company based in New Jersey. They insisted that all employees at all sites sign their standard non-compete agreement, drawn up by their New Jersey-based lawyers. Pretty much everyone in California knew that it wouldn't apply to them (even the HR folks admitted it) but they were required to sign it anyway. So, is the employee being unethical for signing an agreement that they have no intention to honor, or is the company acting unethically for asking their employees to sign a contract that they know is illegal? I put a greater burden on the companies in this case. They should know better. A good friend of mine was sued by this large, NJ-based company after he left them and went to work for a Silicon Valley startup. He was successful in his defense, although I suspect that the company will not change its practices.

These so-called "right to work" laws are a critical engine for an innovative incubator like Silicon Valley. There is no doubt that we wouldn't have such a fertile ground for development of new business in Silicon Valley if not for the prohibition of non-competes. Individual companies may not like it, but it's unquestionably good for the economy as a whole. You are still prohibited from revealing any confidential or proprietary information from your previous employer, but you cannot be barred from working in your field.

Here's a website with some information about California's laws
http://www.donnerlaw.com/contracts.htm

BenRoethig
Nov 9, 2008, 06:01 PM
IBM might be able to force the suit in New York, but I don't see how a New York court can have jurisdiction over a California employment law.

California, Texas and other states are "Right to work" states. One employer can not prevent a former employee from making a living no matter what they signed as a condition of employment.

I would think that under New York law, IBM might be able to prevent him from working for a competitor in New York. But how can they prevent him from working for a company in California.

Doesn't the state courts jurisdiction end at the state border?

In a civil case, perhaps, but if they defy they NY judge, he/she could issue a bench warrant for contempt of court. Trust me, its not in Apple's best interests to have your newest executive taken away in handcuffs.

JAT
Nov 9, 2008, 06:52 PM
It doesn't take much of an imagination to see the problems if employers could write up anything as a non-compete and have it be ironclad. All employees would basically become indentured servants.


This seems to be the prevalent thinking in this thread, but it is completely incorrect. Because, see, it doesn't happen like this. Doom and gloom and the universe ending....yeah, right. It's an employment contract that he agreed to. It's perfectly legal to have these agreements and it prevents some fishy business practices, which I'm guessing you guys would also rip into if some industrial espionage was the news item of the day.

And what was his compensation in return for this agreement? Millions, I presume. People working at Taco Bell for $10/hr don't sign NCAs, this is a practice for experts in certain fields and high-end executives. What, IBM is holding down the little man? Gotta fight back? Gimme a break. I'm betting he's already gotten a check from Apple that's larger than my yearly salary.

I seriously doubt this will be held up, as it doesn't sound like competition is really an issue, more like IBM is whining. But how about people relax?

dagger01
Nov 9, 2008, 07:10 PM
what if you were ibm and your top guy leaves for a similar company after he had signed a non-compete?

i dont know how people can take apple's side on this to be honest as the job would on some level be "competeting" with ibm. tends to happen when you are an expert/specialist in a topic

Non-compete clauses are ridiculous horse hockey! "Oh, sorry, you can't work for a competitor because you know too much, ergo, you need to wait at least a year before working with someone we deem a 'competitor' to our products." PUH-LEASE! If you were that good to begin with you didn't need the company you were working for. A company doesn't own me because I work for them and if they think they do they can kiss my lilly white, furry butt! Besides, if engineers have to sign a non-compete clause, why don't marketing people? Hmmm, funny how that works. Effing, BS!

NO COMPANY OWNS ME OR MY BRAIN, NOR ANYTHING MY BRAIN COMES UP WITH WHILE I WORK FOR THEM.

IBM can suck it! Their employees are not slaves!

P.S. My father worked for IBM for more than 40 years (1966 - 2007). Oh, and he got screwed by them on more than one occasion.

There's my $0.02 on this issue.

dagger01
Nov 9, 2008, 07:12 PM
In a civil case, perhaps, but if they defy they NY judge, he/she could issue a bench warrant for contempt of court. Trust me, its not in Apple's best interests to have your newest executive taken away in handcuffs.

Ummm.no. Bench warrants only work in criminal, not civil, cases. Nice try.

Sun Baked
Nov 9, 2008, 07:15 PM
Non-compete clauses are ridiculous horse hockey! "Oh, sorry, you can't work for a competitor because you know too much, ergo, you need to wait at least a year before working with someone we deem a 'competitor' to our products." PUH-LEASE! If you were that good to begin with you didn't need the company you were working for. A company doesn't own me because I work for them and if they think they do they can kiss my lilly white, furry butt! Besides, if engineers have to sign a non-compete clause, why don't marketing people? Hmmm, funny how that works. Effing, BS!

NO COMPANY OWNS ME OR MY BRAIN, NOR ANYTHING MY BRAIN COMES UP WITH WHILE I WORK FOR THEM.

IBM can suck it! Their employees are not slaves!

P.S. My father worked for IBM for more than 40 years (1966 - 2007). Oh, and he got screwed by them on more than one occasion.

There's my $0.02 on this issue.

Not all of them are bad, since some of them actually include pay for the period they tell you not to work. If that is the case it isn't too bad.

Here, go on a 1-2 year vacation from this business. And gives you a chance to do something else.

However, non competes when you sell a business are typical and normal and keep people from cherry picking their old employees and starting a competing business within days/

MacViolinist
Nov 9, 2008, 07:24 PM
Non-competition agreements are different from NDAs. Several people on this thread have conflated the two. These are not the same things.

Non-competition deals are things that people almost invariably force down your throat after you've already been on the job for a while. Don't sign, get fired; sign, and you get to keep your job.

This is coercion into a contract and it makes the practice legally questionable at best. You have to remember that contract law assumes that both parties to a contract are on somewhat equal terms. And employer-employee relationship is not a somewhat equal relationship.

Courts are hesitant to render contracts unenforceable based on fairness, but they do so from time to time.

So far, courts are ruling that non-competes are not enforceable contracts. The non-competition agreement is an instrument designed to keep people from working if they depart from a given company.

This would be sort of reasonable if it were restricted to people who left for other companies. But then it's also redundant, because NDAs already cover that. Restricting people who are fired or laid off (not that this is the situation with Papermaster) from pursuing opportunities in the same industry . . . that's insanity.

I hope that IBM pursues this all the way to the Supreme Court. If they do that all the non-comps in the nation will be invalidated. But I don't think this will happen. I think IBM is just looking for a little cash. Hopefully, Apple will take this situation and help all of us out by not settling.

dukebound85
Nov 9, 2008, 07:26 PM
Non-compete clauses are ridiculous horse hockey! "Oh, sorry, you can't work for a competitor because you know too much, ergo, you need to wait at least a year before working with someone we deem a 'competitor' to our products." PUH-LEASE! If you were that good to begin with you didn't need the company you were working for. A company doesn't own me because I work for them and if they think they do they can kiss my lilly white, furry butt! Besides, if engineers have to sign a non-compete clause, why don't marketing people? Hmmm, funny how that works. Effing, BS!

NO COMPANY OWNS ME OR MY BRAIN, NOR ANYTHING MY BRAIN COMES UP WITH WHILE I WORK FOR THEM.

IBM can suck it! Their employees are not slaves!

P.S. My father worked for IBM for more than 40 years (1966 - 2007). Oh, and he got screwed by them on more than one occasion.

There's my $0.02 on this issue.

you obviously are clueless to how the real world operates, especially the part i bolded

PS: I dont care what your father did as it doesnt give you any credibility

LethalWolfe
Nov 9, 2008, 07:56 PM
This seems to be the prevalent thinking in this thread, but it is completely incorrect. Because, see, it doesn't happen like this. Doom and gloom and the universe ending....yeah, right. It's an employment contract that he agreed to. It's perfectly legal to have these agreements and it prevents some fishy business practices, which I'm guessing you guys would also rip into if some industrial espionage was the news item of the day.

Actually the legality of non-compete agreements is up for grabs and in CA they aren't legal at all. I'm in favor of reasonable IP protection (NDAs, trade secret protection, copyright laws, etc.,) and I'm in favor of an individual's right to work. Employers shouldn't have carte blanche to decide when and where their former employees can seek employment. IMO Papermaster should be allowed to work at Apple and if IBM-owned IP starts showing up in Apple products Papermaster and Apple should be held accountable if an independent investigation finds evidence of wrong doing.


Lethal

gnasher729
Nov 9, 2008, 08:44 PM
Non-compete clauses are ridiculous horse hockey! "Oh, sorry, you can't work for a competitor because you know too much, ergo, you need to wait at least a year before working with someone we deem a 'competitor' to our products." PUH-LEASE! If you were that good to begin with you didn't need the company you were working for. A company doesn't own me because I work for them and if they think they do they can kiss my lilly white, furry butt! Besides, if engineers have to sign a non-compete clause, why don't marketing people? Hmmm, funny how that works. Effing, BS!

German law is quite simple: The company can put anything into their contract, and it is enforceable, _as long as they pay reasonable compensation_.

So if they want you to work for MacDonalds flipping burgers for a year after you leave, that's fine, as long as they pay for the difference in salary, plus a good bit on top to compensate for the fact that after a year you will have lost experience in your real job. Which means such contracts are very, very rarely enforced, and if they are, you don't mind too much.

With a law like that in place, IBM could absolutely stop the guy from working for Apple, but it would cost them real money. Most likely he would up getting the same pay for doing nothing if IBM insists.

BenRoethig
Nov 9, 2008, 08:55 PM
Well, it looks like its a Federal Judge who issued the order, so the CA-NY stuff is moot. Federal rulings supersede state law, so if the district court rules that he is indeed in violation of the no-compete clause, its binding.

barijazz
Nov 9, 2008, 08:56 PM
Steve Jobs - "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse".

twoodcc
Nov 9, 2008, 09:28 PM
wow, i didn't realize this was such a big deal. i hope they can get this worked out. this guy must be good, considering how bad apple is going after him

jmann
Nov 9, 2008, 09:52 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

I love how confident Apple is. :D

JAT
Nov 9, 2008, 11:13 PM
Actually the legality of non-compete agreements is up for grabs and in CA they aren't legal at all. I'm in favor of reasonable IP protection (NDAs, trade secret protection, copyright laws, etc.,) and I'm in favor of an individual's right to work. Employers shouldn't have carte blanche to decide when and where their former employees can seek employment. IMO Papermaster should be allowed to work at Apple and if IBM-owned IP starts showing up in Apple products Papermaster and Apple should be held accountable if an independent investigation finds evidence of wrong doing.


Lethal

You really don't grasp the concept of signing something, do you? Try reading the rest of my post, now.

frankly
Nov 9, 2008, 11:14 PM
thats a consequence when you sign a non-compete. should have told ibm he had an offer before hand and used it as levergae to possibly get a higher salary at ibm lol

I hope that this lawsuit finally makes those types of contracts illegal. A company could effectively stall a person's career using those stupid clauses. If IBM can prevent you from taking a new job with anyone that they deem to be competition and they also refuse to increase your salary and/or benefits to match what you could make elsewhere how can this possibly be legal?

I have seen companies exercise these clauses even when they fire the person. I'm sorry but how can it be legal for a company to prevent you from earning a living? Are you supposed to start a new career?

what if you were ibm and your top guy leaves for a similar company after he had signed a non-compete?

i dont know how people can take apple's side on this to be honest as the job would on some level be "competeting" with ibm. tends to happen when you are an expert/specialist in a topic

Did you ever stop to think that perhaps we are taking the employee's side of this? Put yourself in his shoes. What if you had his job and you wanted to leave IBM? Are you an indentured servant to IBM for the rest of your life just because you are good at your job?

once again, you cant be serious....

when you sign something saying you cant compete or whatnot, then you are agreeing to it. if you dont like it, dont work there. otherwise be prepared to suffer the consequences legally

You can't be serious, can you?

Once you choose to work for someone are you supposed to work there or nowhere else? Don't you think that ANY company that you wanted to work for would be a competitor since you would be looking for a job using your base of knowledge?

sirgant
Nov 9, 2008, 11:25 PM
So this guys name is papermaster and he's having problems with an agreement? Hmm...

frankly
Nov 9, 2008, 11:26 PM
what people are missing in the article and the case is the guys who is leaving IBM is not a floor wiping, toilet cleaning guy... He is one of the top executives, and has very important trade secrets in his experience within the company...

NON-COMPETE laws at certain levels can be made 100% legal for certain period of time!

Think of it this way, you are a GENERAL of The Army, and you quit your job to Join Russian Army, how is that sound?

Sounds a bit extreme right, and you can say it is a different story, well it is different story but same principal... if you get it...

I wouldn't say it sounds extreme. I would say it sounds ridiculous that you would use that as your analogy. Give me a break.

It is also ridiculous that you think that the higher the level the person is the more enforceable this contract should be. Please tell us exactly what this guy is supposed to do if he wants to stop working for IBM. According to your logic he has to either work for IBM or be unemployed. That is patently ridiculous.

The US company I work for has consistently and 100% successfully sued every employee who signed a non-compete, left the company and then violated the terms of that non-compete. They DO hold up in court. We've won at least a dozen in court, and had at least that many cases settled in our favor before going to court.

Depending on the specific terms of the contract, IBM can at the very least keep this guy from holding a key position at Apple for whatever length of time the contract stipulates.

This is probably due to your company having vastly superior legal resources as compared to the poor ex-employee that just wanted to start a new job. I've seen that happen where people will just decline offers because they can't afford to defend themselves.

Just because your company won doesn't mean they were right.

This seems to be the prevalent thinking in this thread, but it is completely incorrect. Because, see, it doesn't happen like this. Doom and gloom and the universe ending....yeah, right. It's an employment contract that he agreed to. It's perfectly legal to have these agreements and it prevents some fishy business practices, which I'm guessing you guys would also rip into if some industrial espionage was the news item of the day.

And what was his compensation in return for this agreement? Millions, I presume. People working at Taco Bell for $10/hr don't sign NCAs, this is a practice for experts in certain fields and high-end executives. What, IBM is holding down the little man? Gotta fight back? Gimme a break. I'm betting he's already gotten a check from Apple that's larger than my yearly salary.

I seriously doubt this will be held up, as it doesn't sound like competition is really an issue, more like IBM is whining. But how about people relax?

I'm sorry but you're wrong here. This is not limited to people making tons of money. This is common practice in software development jobs as well and most people in that field do not have enough money to simply take 6 months to a year off just because they want to change jobs.

frankly
Nov 9, 2008, 11:38 PM
Not all of them are bad, since some of them actually include pay for the period they tell you not to work. If that is the case it isn't too bad.

Here, go on a 1-2 year vacation from this business. And gives you a chance to do something else.

However, non competes when you sell a business are typical and normal and keep people from cherry picking their old employees and starting a competing business within days/

Define some, because from my experience I would say that less than 1% off something like that.

frankly
Nov 9, 2008, 11:40 PM
You really don't grasp the concept of signing something, do you? Try reading the rest of my post, now.

Wow, do you actually think that if you sign something you are bound by it, even if it is illegal?

bradl
Nov 9, 2008, 11:52 PM
You really don't grasp the concept of signing something, do you? Try reading the rest of my post, now.

Actually, Lethal is right:

http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/08/08/1335253

Plus you should try reading some of the cases against Amway/Quixtar in California and other states, especially regarding non-compete clauses. The State Supreme court ruling trumped the non-compete IBM has, regardless of what they signed with any employee.

IBM is seriously going to be on the losing end of this, especially if this lawsuit was filed in California.

BL.

LethalWolfe
Nov 9, 2008, 11:54 PM
You really don't grasp the concept of signing something, do you? Try reading the rest of my post, now.
You really don't grasp the concept of non-compete clauses being illegal in CA do you? Or the fact the employer is limited in the restrictions that they can legally apply? If a judge finds a non-compete to be 'unreasonable' then it can be ruled illegal.


Lethal

dukebound85
Nov 10, 2008, 01:35 AM
Did you ever stop to think that perhaps we are taking the employee's side of this? Put yourself in his shoes. What if you had his job and you wanted to leave IBM? Are you an indentured servant to IBM for the rest of your life just because you are good at your job?

um yes i did. doesnt mean hes right:rolleyes:

he signed a non-compete and as such going to a company that MAY be considered a competitor, he is asking for legal trouble

and this is for the courts to decide isnt it

You can't be serious, can you?

Once you choose to work for someone are you supposed to work there or nowhere else? Don't you think that ANY company that you wanted to work for would be a competitor since you would be looking for a job using your base of knowledge?

if you dont like the terms of employment, dont work there. no one made him work at ibm did they? notice how i bolded terms of employment for you. let that sink in......

understand that?

once again this is for the courts but to anyone who think ibm would just stand by after getting top talent taken away is on something, esp if a non compete clause wa there


PS: try to use the multiquote feature (the "+ button at the bottom right of each post)

frankly
Nov 10, 2008, 01:42 AM
um yes i did. doesnt mean hes right:rolleyes:

he signed a non-compete and as such going to a company that MAY be considered a competitor, he is asking for legal trouble

and this is for the courts to decide isnt it



if you dont like the terms of employment, dont work there. no one made him work at ibm did they? notice how i bolded terms of employment for you. let that sink in......

understand that?

My point is that I don't think they are legal, and many courts have agreed. What is the employees option if they work in an industry where all employers use these? Are the options then to simply not work at all or to be enslaved to one particular company?

It isn't as black and white as you'd like it to be and your answers seem to point to you never having seen one of these contracts. It appears that you don't work in the type of industry where these are commonplace.

It must be nice to live in your pollyanna world.

dukebound85
Nov 10, 2008, 01:45 AM
It isn't as black and white as you'd like it to be and your answers seem to point to you never having seen one of these contracts. It appears that you don't work in the type of industry where these are commonplace.

It must be nice to live in your pollyanna world.

oh i do and have, being an engineer and all:rolleyes:. in fact i probably see the reason from a company's viewpoint more now because i see the need for them in a sense

frankly
Nov 10, 2008, 01:49 AM
oh i do and have, being an engineer and all:rolleyes:. in fact i probably see the reason from a company's viewpoint more now because i see the need for them in a sense

So if you left your job where would you go? It is ridiculous to me that you don't see the problem here. Especially since your company could let you go anytime they wanted to.

LethalWolfe
Nov 10, 2008, 02:06 AM
um yes i did. doesnt mean hes right:rolleyes:

he signed a non-compete and as such going to a company that MAY be considered a competitor, he is asking for legal trouble

and this is for the courts to decide isnt it
Ambiguity. One of the problems w/non-competes.


if you dont like the terms of employment, dont work there. no one made him work at ibm did they? notice how i bolded terms of employment for you. let that sink in......
Just out of curiosity what is your general opinion of workers rights? I mean, do you long for the days before labor laws and workers unions where employees worked 18hr days, 6 days a week in hazardous conditions for slave wages? Do you actually trust employers to be altruistic and always do what's right for their employees?


once again this is for the courts but to anyone who think ibm would just stand by after getting top talent taken away is on something, esp if a non compete clause wa there.
Do you think it's possible IBM would use a questionable non-compete clause as some sort of hail mary, last ditch attempt to throw a monkey wrench in Papermaster's career because he left the company? Like I said before, we are all ignorant to the details of Papermaster's contract w/IBM, but IBM sounds like they are desperate when they basically said that anything w/a microprocessor is a competitor and is therefore off limits to Papermaster.


Lethal

dukebound85
Nov 10, 2008, 02:39 AM
So if you left your job where would you go? It is ridiculous to me that you don't see the problem here. Especially since your company could let you go anytime they wanted to.

i see the problem but the employer has rights too which you guys seem to conveniently overlook



Just out of curiosity what is your general opinion of workers rights? I mean, do you long for the days before labor laws and workers unions where employees worked 18hr days, 6 days a week in hazardous conditions for slave wages? Do you actually trust employers to be altruistic and always do what's right for their employees?



Lethal

please where have i said that or anything near that? dont forget he did sign a non compete. nothing forced about it

do you not see how ibm would have a problem with this? why not try to nail him on it. apple and ibm are similar enough for it to be considered

once again, dont forget he did agree to this non-compete as well.

you all act as if he didnt agree to anything and somehow ibm is trying to go after him legally for working at apple

LethalWolfe
Nov 10, 2008, 03:08 AM
i see the problem but the employer has rights too which you guys seem to conveniently overlook
IBM has a right to its IP and I don't think anyone is saying otherwise or is condoning industrial espionage. If Papermaster violated trade secret laws that would be one thing, but I don't agree that a former employer should be able to prevent him from working in his field of 25 years for really no other reason than he *might* violate trade secret laws. Non-competes should be specific, reasonable, only allowable under certain circumstances and provide income for the employee for the duration of the clause. Non-competes are not ironclad and do have limitations even if employers would like people to believe otherwise.


please where have i said that or anything near that?
I was just wondering how far your "If you don't like it don't work there" mantra would go.


Lethal

mccldwll
Nov 10, 2008, 06:53 AM
I Non-competes are not ironclad and do have limitations even if employers would like people to believe otherwise.


That's about it. And this entire thread should have stopped around post #3. It's a legal issue. Period. It might make for an interesting lunch discussion in law school, but it's a complete joke to be discussing it here. Anecdotes and opinions are irrelevant to the issue which will be decided. In court.

JNB
Nov 10, 2008, 07:05 AM
That's about it. And this entire thread should have stopped around post #3. It's a legal issue. Period. It might make for an interesting lunch discussion in law school, but it's a complete joke to be discussing it here. Anecdotes and opinions are irrelevant to the issue which will be decided. In court.

That's the whole point of the forums… ;)

dernhelm
Nov 10, 2008, 07:21 AM
Not all of them are bad, since some of them actually include pay for the period they tell you not to work. If that is the case it isn't too bad.

Here, go on a 1-2 year vacation from this business. And gives you a chance to do something else.

However, non competes when you sell a business are typical and normal and keep people from cherry picking their old employees and starting a competing business within days/

True, except I doubt there was any "additional pay" for the 2 year period involved here. That's generally only done when you are talking severance pay. Not the case here. In this case, the non-compete is more analagous to a $5 million buyout clause for coaches in sports. It is there simply to make it more difficult for you to walk away and work somewhere else easily.

For the most part, unless Apple is planning on building competing PowerPC chips, I don't see how IBM actually wins here. Apple selling more iPhones does not impact IBM's bottom line in the least. Having Papermaster work on chips for embedded systems isn't likely to seem like a violation of a non-compete unless the people making the decision just don't understand the industry.

It's now in Apple's court to explain things correctly. But I don't blame IBM for making life difficult for Apple and Papermaster, they pretty much told him this would happen when they asked him to sign the non-compete clause in the first place.

mccldwll
Nov 10, 2008, 07:38 AM
That's the whole point of the forums… ;)

You're the Demi-God, but I disrespectfully disagree. I believe forums are intended to discuss issues, where participants can bring something worthwhile to the table. And those who can't bring something to the table can learn by lurking. Two very highly paid legal teams disagree, and a judge acknowledged a "win" by IBM is at least possible (Friday's order), so all this junk about "keeping what's in your brain" or "tough luck since he signed it" is of absolutely no value to anyone.

Gasu E.
Nov 10, 2008, 08:16 AM
of course any company will have the rights to your idea if you are working for them and came up with the ideas as a result of you using their facilities, knowledge, and time :

I agree.

its not uncommon at ALL to sign non-competes and nda's for pretty much any job thats above retail/food type level of jobs


It's been my experience that "non-competes" are rare in technology firms below the executive level. I work in a $10B technology company, and folkds move to and fro between my company and competitors fairly frequently. And we are NOT located primarily in CA.

danny_w
Nov 10, 2008, 08:23 AM
I agree.



It's been my experience that "non-competes" are rare in technology firms below the executive level. I work in a $10B technology company, and folkds move to and fro between my company and competitors fairly frequently. And we are NOT located primarily in CA.
I've worked in the engineering field since 1976, and I think that every employer that I have ever worked for (except for the US Civil Service, my first job) have had non-competes. I've worked in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. I didn't like them, but if I wanted employment I had no choice but to sign them.

frankly
Nov 10, 2008, 08:51 AM
i see the problem but the employer has rights too which you guys seem to conveniently overlook

I'm not overlooking for that. You are siding very strongly with the employer while I am siding very strongly with the employee. I do not think the employee has the right to use SECRET knowledge that he has gained while working for IBM. However, I do think he has every right to take another job if he chooses and to use HIS KNOWLEDGE to perform his job for this new company.

IBM also has the right to sue him and Apple if they do use proprietary knowledge developed at IBM in order to build something at Apple.

He should not be allowed to take any of his work with him but he should be able to take his brain and move on if he so chooses. Your stance is hard line and ridiculous.

frankly
Nov 10, 2008, 08:57 AM
I agree.



It's been my experience that "non-competes" are rare in technology firms below the executive level. I work in a $10B technology company, and folkds move to and fro between my company and competitors fairly frequently. And we are NOT located primarily in CA.


And it has been my experience that folks well below six figures have been threatened with legal action if they accepted an offer with a company that the company I worked for did business with.

And herein lies the rub. An employee making that kind of money is forced to comply because of the simple fact that they don't have the money to hire their own attorney and they can't afford to be unemployed while they wait for the resolution. So, as ridiculous as the claim may be, the company wins because they have in-house attorneys or legal counsel on retainer. No matter how small the company is I can almost guarantee that they have deeper pockets than the average employee.

wolfenkraft
Nov 10, 2008, 09:10 AM
I don't think Apple have enough money for that. ;)

Actually, they do. More money in the bank than google and microsoft (not combined obviously). Think IBM is worth more than 30 something billion USD?

I am in no way advocating Apple buying IBM (that's absolutely ridiculous), but theoretically, they can.

jzuena
Nov 10, 2008, 09:13 AM
Buy IBM.

That will work about as well as the idea that Apple should have bought Cisco to get the iPhone name rights.

IBM market cap: $116.76B
AAPL market cap: $87.84B
CSCO market cap: $104.68B

Notice that Apple is the least valuable of the three companies.

frankly
Nov 10, 2008, 09:18 AM
That will work about as well as the idea that Apple should have bought Cisco to get the iPhone name rights.

IBM market cap: $116.76B
AAPL market cap: $87.84B
CSCO market cap: $104.68B

Notice that Apple is the least valuable of the three companies.

Yes, and earlier this year it was double what it is now. In case you haven't been paying attention the stock market is on a roller coaster right now. Also, in order to "buy" a public company you don't have to pay the value of the market cap. Smaller companies can buy larger ones if the smaller company is in better financial condition (i.e. cash on hand, debt ratio, etc.).

LethalWolfe
Nov 10, 2008, 11:14 AM
You're the Demi-God, but I disrespectfully disagree. I believe forums are intended to discuss issues, where participants can bring something worthwhile to the table.
This is an Apple rumor site. Speculation and hypothesizing is the name of the game.:p


Lethal

MM2270
Nov 10, 2008, 03:50 PM
So if IBM wins their lawsuit, does that mean Papermaster will

1. Go back to Blue? Seems a little dangerous to re-cross that now-smoldering bridge.

2. Go to Apple, and IBM will be awarded monetary penalties (doubtful if the courts will issue a stop-work order).

3. Twist in the wind for a year?

4. Take a "sponsored" vacation for a year?

I imagine Apple would have known the risks in making the offer, as much as Papermaster did in accepting it. Is Steve obligated in any way to renumerate him for any loss of wage damages in the interim?

That's a very interesting question, and its easy to see how Papermaster's options are rather limited now due to this turn of events.
Any company dealing in anything related to his field could be seen as a competitor, so he may be kind of screwed.
Besides, even if he tried to find other non-Apple employment, who would really want to hire him knowing that he really wanted to work for Apple, but is only joining Company X in the interim, and may jump ship at the end of that one year period? It would be a huge risk for any other company to take him on now. Not only did he want to work for someone else, but he doesn't live up to sign contracts. Yikes!

This is exactly why I think non competition agreements are unfair to people in his position. Granted, he signed it and may have a problem on his hands because of it, but these agreements really screw over employees if you ask me. He was given the "opportunity of a lifetime" but is barred from taking it by his employer. This isn't indentured servitude, its employment for cripes sake!

dex22
Nov 10, 2008, 06:52 PM
I repeat:

Papermaster was employed in Texas, and subject to Texas employment law. Regardless of the venue of the non-compete he signed, he was under Texas law when he signed it, so it does not apply. Texas is a right to work state.

Papermaster is relocating to California, which is also a right to work state.

BenRoethig
Nov 10, 2008, 07:37 PM
I repeat:

Papermaster was employed in Texas, and subject to Texas employment law. Regardless of the venue of the non-compete he signed, he was under Texas law when he signed it, so it does not apply. Texas is a right to work state.

Papermaster is relocating to California, which is also a right to work state.

Not that any of that matters since its in federal court

mccldwll
Nov 10, 2008, 08:29 PM
This is an Apple rumor site. Speculation and hypothesizing is the name of the game.:p


Lethal

First, "...but I disrespectfully disagree" in my reply to JohnNotBeatle was a typo by me. "Respectfully disagree" was intended. My bad.

Second, I agree on speculation and hypothesizing, but not as to "why" a court will decide, based on misinformed opinion. As it was, it was 100+ posts of "will not, will too." The speculation and hypothesizing might be worthwhile as to exactly why Papermaster was hired, and how an adverse court decision might impact that, NOT how and why the court will rule.

dex22
Nov 11, 2008, 12:02 AM
Not that any of that matters since its in federal court

The Federal court can make a ruling, based on Texas statutes. Texas statutes are only overwritten by federal laws where they exist, and there isn't a Federal law regarding right to work - which is why it is up to the discretion of the various states - and why some states have RTW laws and some don't.

How would I know? I have been through this exact route with my former employer: after leaving them, setting up in competition with them and hiring some former co-workers away from them. I was sued in Federal court, and it followed state law in the state were I was employed for tax purposes and that my previous employer paid unemployment insurance to. My company won.

This isn't idle speculation.

mccldwll
Nov 11, 2008, 06:00 AM
I repeat:

Papermaster was employed in Texas, and subject to Texas employment law. Regardless of the venue of the non-compete he signed, he was under Texas law when he signed it, so it does not apply. Texas is a right to work state.

Papermaster is relocating to California, which is also a right to work state.

Oh. Guess you should tell the judge that it's that simple and straightforward, and that erred when issuing the PI. Give aapl's legal team a call too.