Industrial Espionage

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Industrial Espionage'

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. Trade Secret

    Any practice or process of a company that is generally not known ...
  2. Non-Competition Agreement

    A legal agreement in which one party is restricted from working ...
  3. Intellectual Property

    A broad categorical description for the set of intangibles owned ...
  4. Proprietary Technology

    A process, tool, system or similar item that is the property ...
  5. Patent

    A government license that gives the holder exclusive rights to ...
  6. Corporate Social Responsibility

    Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    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.
  2. Options & Futures

    Handcuffs And Smoking Guns: The Criminal Elements Of Wall Street

    From godfathers to perps, familiarize yourself with the "criminal elements" creeping around Wall Street.
  3. Economics

    What is a Code of Ethics?

    A code of ethics is a collection of principles and guidelines an organization expects its employees to follow.
  4. Investing

    How To Invest For The Greater Good

    We discuss why is important to prioritize economic, social and governance factors when making investment decisions, regardless of gender or generation.
  5. Investing

    Why These Industries Are Prone To Corruption

    Corruption is like life in that it exists pretty much everywhere the conditions are favorable.
  6. Economics

    Who Are the Baby Boomers?

    Baby boomer is a descriptive term for a person who was born between the years 1946 and 1964.
  7. Professionals

    Surviving an SEC Audit: Tips for Advisors

    Your firm may never be audited by the SEC, but you need to be prepared nonetheless. Follow these tips to make sure you're in compliance and organized.
  8. Investing Basics

    Understanding Related-Party Transactions

    In business, a related-party transaction refers to a transaction where parties on both sides have a common interest or relationship.
  9. Economics

    What are Deliverables?

    Deliverables is a project management term describing an object or function that must be provided or completed by a certain due date.
  10. Investing

    How Counterfeiting Affects Alibaba's Business

    We examine the source of Alibaba's counterfeit products and their effects, as well as the ways Alibaba is fighting back.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some common methods of gathering CI (competitive intelligence)?

    There is one unifying characteristic throughout the most common methods of performing competitive business intelligence: ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are examples of businesses that exhibit social responsibility?

    In the 21st century, companies that exhibit corporate social responsibility are winning high marks from consumers and investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why is social responsibility important to a business?

    Social responsibility is important to a business because it demonstrates to both consumers and the media that the company ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why are business ethics important?

    Several factors play a role in the success of a company that are beyond the scope of financial statements alone. Organizational ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How important are business ethics in running a profitable business?

    A number of factors play a part in making a business profitable, including expert management teams, dedicated and productive ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do business ethics differ among various countries?

    Business ethics is the study of business policies and practices, such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!