The David Donatelli case is similar to that of Mark Papermaster, a former IBM executive who was blocked last year by a US court from working at Apple, after IBM filed a similar lawsuit to the one EMC filed against Donatelli.
Papermaster was barred from working at Apple in early November 2008 — just days after he took a job running the company's iPod and iPhone engineering group — when a federal judge ruled in favour of his former employer. IBM claimed that a non-competition agreement Papermaster signed in 2006 prevented him from working for rivals for a year after leaving.
A week later Papermaster countersued IBM, arguing the agreement was unenforceable.
IBM and Papermsater reached a settlement, in which Papermaster would not be allowed to work for Apple until six months after he left Big Blue.
As part of the settlement, Papermaster was required, twice after starting at Apple, to sign declarations in which he swears under penalty of perjury, that he has not disclosed any confidential IBM information, nor intends to.
IBM had argued that Papermaster was hired at least in part because of his expertise in microprocessor design, and said that he knew of "highly confidential IBM trade secrets" that would "irreparably harm" his former company if he was allowed to work for Apple.
- Additional reporting by David Watson