While the patent war among high-tech companies (and, often, patent trolls) takes up a lot of the headlines these days, intellectual property theft comes in many different shapes and sizes. The theft of trade secrets and other forms of economic espionage are serious problems for U.S. companies, and there are major economic consequences that result from this wrongdoing.
I recently spoke with Gary Lincenberg, principal at Bird Marella and former assistant U.S. attorney, about this topic. He spoke of economic espionage and how companies often must fend for themselves with civil suits. This is partly due to the fact that, since much of this criminal activity originates overseas, it is difficult to prosecute, and it is often unclear if the wrongdoer can be extradited.