Apple's Papermaster files countersuit against IBM

Apple's iPhoneA countersuit has been filed by Apple's iPhone man-in-waiting, Mark Papermaster, against his former employer, in a dispute over a non-compete agreement.

On late Thursday, the court documents were filed in federal court in New York, which claimed that since the two companies are not competitors in the arena where Papermaster will be employed, IBM's non-compete agreement with Papermaster shouldn't apply to his potential employment at Apple.

In the month of October, Papermaster was hired by Apple in order to replace outgoing iPod executive Tony Fadell and lead the development of future versions of the iPhone. However, IBM is suing to prevent him from working for Apple for a year.

The counterclaim of Papermaster concentrates on the sections of the non-compete agreement, arguing that it is too broad and would not allow Papermaster to work for any technology company anywhere in the world for a year following his departure from IBM.

However, a preliminary injunction preventing Papermaster from reporting for duty at Apple was successfully obtained by IBM, but that's a pretty standard decision in cases such as these. On Thursday, the two parties are supposed to have a status conference regarding the case.