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Oracle and IBM end poaching lawsuit

Leave gardening leave for gardeners

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IBM has ended a lawsuit against Joanne Olsen, a 30-year Big Blue veteran and former head of its services division.

The problem was that Olsen was seduced away from IBM by Larry Ellison after the purchase of Sun Microsystems.

IBM complained that Olsen had failed to take a year's gardening leave and was therefore taking advantage of confidential company information to help Oracle-Sun, which was now a direct competitor for big server and storage contracts.

It said she was one of its "elite" managers and had specific information about its plans for growth and for company acquisitions. Gardening leave is a standard part of employment contracts for such senior staff and is designed to stop people working for direct rivals until the information they have becomes irrelevant or out of date.

In response Oracle counter-sued Big Blue.

But court records seen by Reuters show that both sides have agreed to voluntarily dismiss both cases - usually evidence of a settlement. ®

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