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IBM Sues To Keep Ex-Exec Away From Apple

MANHATTAN (CN) - IBM sued one of its top executives in microprocessing, Mark Papermaster, to prevent him from accepting a job at Apple. IBM says Papermaster's non-compete agreement prevents him from accepting a job with a competitor until a year after he leaves Big Blue.

IBM describes Papermaster as one of its top 300 senior managers, who knows a welter of trade secrets. Until he quit last week, Papermaster was vice president of IBM's Blade Development unit, which designs and produces blade-model servers.

IBM says it offered Papermaster a big raise and a year's salary "in exchange for Mr. Papermaster's agreement to respect his contractual obligation to refrain from working for an IBM competitor for one year," but he refused. He left IBM on Oct. 24 and said he intends to start working for Apple in November, according to the federal complaint.

IBM is represented by Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

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