Most industry giants rely on patented and protected information for their edge, and corporate espionage is always present within the ranks of major players. A recent conviction highlights just how serious the consequences can be for the theft of intellectual property and trade secrets – for the victims and the spies.
Recently, information was stolen from DuPont regarding their clean and efficient process for manufacturing titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is the white dye used in many paper and plastic products, and the total yearly sales in the global market for this chemical add up to about $14 billion. DuPont’s cleaner manufacturing process has given them a corner on the market – or it had, until a former DuPont employee sold the key information about the process to a Chinese competitor.
Although the convicted parties intend to appeal their conviction in this case, they could face 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 – which may be only a fraction of the money that DuPont lost, as it’s hard to determine how much of a hit the company took.
In this case, the U.S. Government is also concerned. While corporate espionage is difficult enough between companies within the same country, international theft can affect how they do in the global market.
Though your company may not be of the same scale as DuPont, your competitors may still be interested in illegally obtaining your intellectual property, no matter if they are complicated scientific processes or relatively simple marketing strategies. It can be hard to prevent an inside job performed by disgruntled employees, but you can protect yourself by regularly scanning key areas of your corporate offices for illegal video and audio eavesdropping equipment (bugs).
Bugs are commonly placed in offices, company cars, board rooms, or personal residences. Often the spy is only at risk when planting or servicing them, as the data they pick up is increasingly accessed remotely. During the period from 1969 through 1988, the “find rate” for bugs and cameras was about 4%. Today these devices are easily accessible for purchase on the internet. This has caused the find rate to increase of the past years where today we find a bug or camera about 16% of the time.
If your business has tightly protected intellectual property and a high public profile, particularly in the arena of employee negotiations, then you are potentially at risk.
For businesses in California and the surrounding areas, Martin Investigative Services can help. Our team of former Federal agents utilizes the latest in bug detection equipment that picks up multiple types of bugs and cameras across an array of constantly evolving devices. We have decades of experience, and our bug sweep services are 100% guaranteed to find any and all monitoring devices including cameras. If we do find any recording or eavesdropping devices, we can help develop a plan to find the responsible party. This may involve leaving the device in place and providing false information to assist in locating the person responsible. The stark reality is that most devices are purchased on the black market or the internet and are not traceable. You may know who put the bug or camera in your home or business but proving it with evidence will probably be next to impossible. Be very careful about who you select to do this work. There are unfortunately more pretenders than experts. If you need assistance or guidance in your area, please call our toll-free number and we will make every effort to find someone competent to help you.