The legal dispute between International Business Machines and software giant Microsoft has been settled. The lawsuit was a trade secret dispute over a top executive – a former chief diversity officer, who left IBM to join Microsoft in the same capacity.
With this dispute settled, Lindsay Rae-McIntyre can start working at Microsoft in July. Beginning in February, IBM had filed a complaint in a federal court, stating that McIntyre had violated a year-long non-competition agreement. They even alleged that there is a possibility of IBM’s information having been compromised and shared with a competitor.
Speaking on this recent development, a spokesperson from IBM stated, “We’re glad the action has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties and that Ms. McIntyre will not begin her new responsibilities until July.” A spokesperson from Microsoft stated that they were really glad to know that the issue has been resolved.
During the lawsuit proceeding, IBM had asked the judge to enforce the non-competition agreement, to ensure that McIntyre won’t disclose any information about IBM’s efforts to hire and maintain a diverse workforce.
Some of the employment lawyers found this lawsuit to be a bit unusual because IBM was defining its diversity data as economically viable “trade secrets”. This term is usually used with a cutting-edge technology or a closely guarded recipe.
McIntyre’s lawyers said in court filings that she would not misappropriate any proprietary IBM information, and that the information would not be useful to her or Microsoft anyway.