(Adds comment from Apple; quotes from Papermaster's court
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 5 A U.S. District Court
judge in New York ordered a newly hired Apple Inc (AAPL.O)
executive to stop work immediately because he might be
violating an agreement with his former employer, IBM (IBM.N).
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."
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.
"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.
Karas said Papermaster could submit any objections to his
order by Tuesday and he set another hearing for Nov. 18.
Papermaster had worked for IBM for 25 years. IBM said in a
court filing that, before Papermaster left, he agreed to avoid
working for any competitor for a year.
Papermaster's lawyers argued that forcing him "to 'sit out'
of the electronics industry for a year would be incredibly
damaging to his career."
They said that Apple was a "once-in-a-lifetime 'dream job'"
and that Papermaster would be unable to return to IBM, given
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
"Electronic devices large and small are powered by the
same type of intelligence, the microprocessor," IBM argued.
(Reporting by David Lawsky; additional reporting by Gina
Keating in Los Angeles; Editing by Andre Grenon and Bernard