05 July 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

More than a third of companies are victims of trade secret theft

More than one third of companies have had their trade secrets stolen, according to a survey from law firm Baker McKenzie.

Baker McKenzie surveyed over 400 companies and groups, and conducted eight in-depth interviews with officials from agencies such as the FBI and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Healthcare was the most affected sector, with 33 percent of executives reporting trade secret theft. Former employees and third-party suppliers committed the most theft.

Fewer than one third of companies said they have an action plan in place to respond to trade secret theft, even though 82 percent of executives said their secrets are important to their businesses. Almost half (48 percent) of respondents said that trade secrets are more important than patents or trademarks.

This reflects a “marked disconnect between the importance that corporate executives place on their trade secrets and the measures they are taking to protect them”, according to Baker McKenzie.

Companies must implement appropriate protective measures, from securing computer networks and monitoring employee electronic use, to providing training, developing corporate policies and implementing non-disclosure agreements.

Paul Rawlinson, global chair of Baker McKenzie, said: “Throughout modern corporate history, some companies have gone to great lengths to safeguard their trade secrets. Colonel Sander’s handwritten original recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken was famously kept locked in a safe at KFC corporate headquarters.”

He added: “Today’s trade secrets are more susceptible to the threat of being hacked or downloaded, but they are of no less value to the companies that own them.”

More news
The latest news from IPPro Patents
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Brazil and China sign PPH agreement
17 November 2017 | Beijing | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The State Intellectual Property Office of China has signed a patent prosecution highway agreement with the Brazilian National Institution of Intellectual Property
Cozen O’Connor hires ex-DLA Piper litigator
17 November 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Cozen O’Connor has hired ex-DLA Piper litigator Hugh Marbury as member in its intellectual property department
Mewburn Ellis opens Munich office
16 November 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Intellectual property boutique Mewburn Ellis has opened a new office in Munich, its first expansion outside of the UK
EPO faces backlash over scrapping of permanent employment contracts
15 November 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
In an internal memo, the Staff Union of the European Patent Office described the move as “Kafkaesque”
Apple under ITC investigation over remote desktop patents
15 November 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The US International Trade Commission will investigate Apple over the alleged infringement of patents relating to remote desktop software
AST hires former Yahoo! vice president
14 November 2017 | Princeton | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Allied Security Trust has hired the former vice president and deputy general counsel of Yahoo!
New EPO president looking to cooperate with USF
13 November 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The new president of the EPO, António Campinos, has revealed a positive outlook for the office, alluding to plans for cooperation between the EPO and the USF