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Judge Orders Former IBM Exec To Stop Working For Apple

A federal judge in New York has ordered the new engineering head of Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to stop work immediately. Mark Papermaster started for Apple Tuesday, prompting complaints by previous employer IBM that the new job violated an agreement with that company not to work for a competitor for a year. Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas ordered Papermaster on Friday to “immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc until further order of this court.” Apple responded with a promise to comply but the spokesman also expressed confidence that Papermaster “will be able to ultimately join Apple when the dust settles.” Papermaster, a 25-year IBM vet, is supposed to report directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

Papermaster and his attorneys contend that Apple and IBM are not direct competitors but they also argue that keeping him out of play for a year would be “would be incredibly damaging to his career.” The next hearing is Nov. 18.