Industrial Espionage

What is 'Industrial Espionage'

Industrial espionage is the theft of trade secrets by the removal, copying or recording of confidential or valuable information in a company for use by a competitor. Industrial espionage is conducted for commercial purposes rather than national security purposes (espionage), and should be differentiated from competitive intelligence, which is the legal gathering of information by examining corporate publications, websites, patent filings and the like, to determine a corporation's activities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Industrial Espionage'

Industrial espionage describes covert activities, such as the theft of trade secrets, bribery, blackmail and technological surveillance. Industrial espionage is most commonly associated with technology-heavy industries, particularly the computer and auto sectors, in which a significant amount of money is spent on research and development (R&D).

RELATED TERMS
  1. Economic Espionage

    The unlawful targeting and theft of a nation’s critical economic ...
  2. Competitive Intelligence

    The process of collecting and analyzing information about competitors’ ...
  3. Trade Secret

    Any practice or process of a company that is generally not known ...
  4. Confidential Treatment Order - ...

    An order that provides confidential treatment for certain documents ...
  5. Confidential Treatment Application

    A form filled out in accordance with a company's 8-K, 10-Q, ...
  6. Confidentiality Agreement

    A legal agreement between two or more parties that is used to ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  2. Managing Wealth

    Protecting Your Idea From Angel Investors

    If you need outside financing to grow your business, be careful about whom you decide to talk to and what information you offer them.
  3. Investing

    Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them

    Innovation is the key to staying on top. Find out how companies protect their ideas and how to figure out how much they're worth.
  4. Personal Finance

    Protecting Your Idea: Should You Patent It?

    At what stage of development should you patent an idea – and which ideas can you patent? Here's how to decide and what to do next.
  5. Markets

    Great Company Or Growing Industry?

    Look at the big picture when choosing a company - what you see may really be a stage in its industry's growth.
  6. Investing

    Identity Theft Protection Services: Worth Having?

    A detailed review of what you get from American's leading identity theft protection agencies. Start here before deciding whether you need this coverage.
  7. Managing Wealth

    5 Financial Careers You Didn’t Know Existed

    Discover some often overlooked financial career opportunities, and learn how accountants can catch the bad guy or rub elbows with Hollywood's elite.
  8. Personal Finance

    Filing A Patent

    Want to patent your invention or design? Here's a complete step-by-step guide to the process.
  9. Personal Finance

    Hiring A Really Competent Patent Attorney

    Use this guide to find a well-qualified attorney to guide your application through the complex patenting process at the best possible price.
  10. Markets

    How NDAs Work and Why They're Important

    A non-disclosure agreement, or NDA, is a legal document that keeps the lid on sensitive information.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the risks of using CI (competitive intelligence) for espionage?

    Learn about the primary risks involved in performing corporate espionage and how to differentiate between espionage and competitive ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are some common methods of gathering CI (competitive intelligence)?

    Read about some common methods of acquiring competitive business intelligence, and discover what a good intelligence analysis ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between CI (competitive intelligence) and competitive analysis?

    Understand the difference between competitive intelligence and competitive analysis. Learn why a company conducts both types ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between business intelligence and competitive intelligence?

    Understand the difference between business intelligence and competitive intelligence. Learn why both are important for the ... Read Answer >>
  5. What does a company use CI (competitive intelligence) for?

    Take a brief overview of the art of competitive intelligence, or CI, and how companies compete with one another for information ... Read Answer >>
  6. A CFA Member or Candidate may be justified in disclosing confidential information ...

    The correct answer is: D) While acknowledging the importance of preserving confidentiality (and sensitivity of financial ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center