February 2021

Honeywell Prevails in Critical Trade Secrets Case

United States - Delaware

Honeywell obtained a full preliminary injunction to protect its trade secrets against a former employee who had worked as a senior research engineer in its fluorochemical refrigerants business and his new employer, Chemours Inc., a key competitor. Faegre Drinker represented Honeywell in the proceedings, which also resulted in an order preventing Chemours from employing the former employee in the same refrigerants role pending trial.

The former employee’s new position with Chemours involved essentially the same duties he performed for Honeywell, which posed a significant problem as he had been exposed to Honeywell’s trade secrets and other proprietary and confidential information. The former employee, who was also privy to Honeywell's business strategy within this market, had signed a contract stating he would not take a position in which it would be “reasonably anticipated” that he would use Honeywell’s trade secret, proprietary and confidential information for two years after concluding his employment.

A cross-office team of Faegre Drinker litigators moved quickly to protect Honeywell’s interests, filing a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction against both the former employee and Chemours, and after expedited discovery, presented a compelling oral argument in the Delaware Court of Chancery, which ruled from the bench in Honeywell’s favor.

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