Apple (AAPL) has “resolved” its litigation with IBM (IBM) over hiring former IBM exec Mark Papermaster, who will become Apple’s senior vice president of devices hardware engineering. Papermaster will start on April 24, reporting directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is on medical leave until late June.
Mark will lead Apple’s iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams. His challenge: Keeping Apple ahead of rivals, such as Palm (PALM) and Research In Motion (RIMM), which are trying to mimic the iPhone with increasing success. He might also help oversee the iPod touch’s transformation into a broader line of portable touch computing devices to compete with cheap “netbook” PCs from companies like Acer and Asus.
Apple announced Papermaster’s hiring last November, simultaneously announcing that Tony Fadell, Apple’s senior vice president of the iPod Division, would leave his full-time position and become a consultant to Steve Jobs. IBM sued Apple to block Papermaster’s accepting the position at Apple.
Apple did not disclose conditions of its settlement with IBM.
Update: The conditions, via CNET.
IBM and Mr. Papermaster have now agreed on a resolution of the lawsuit under which Mr. Papermaster may not begin employment with Apple until April 24, 2009, six months after leaving IBM, and will remain subject thereafter to all of his contractual and other legal duties to IBM, including the obligation not to use or disclose IBM’s confidential information.
Following commencement of his employment with Apple, Mr. Papermaster will be required to certify, in July 2009 and again in October 2009, that he has complied with his legal obligations not to use or disclose IBM’s confidential or proprietary information.
The preliminary injunction will be replaced by a court order (PDF) under which the court will have continuing jurisdiction over this matter, including compliance enforcement powers, until October 24, 2009, one year after Mr. Papermaster’s departure from IBM.