INDUSTRIAL espionage is closely related to economic espionage. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the only distinction between the two forms of espionage concerns territorial issues. Whereas economic espionage refers to the stealing of trade secrets or confidential information by foreign governments against U.S. businesses, industrial espionage includes the theft of trade secrets by foreign or domestic companies against other businesses. In general, industrial espionage involves the secretive theft of corporate trade secrets or any information of potential value including formulas, patents, new technology developments, and other intellectual properties. The loss of these trade secrets costs companies billions of dollars each year.

The majority of industrial espionage offenders include the company's current or former employees. Nearly 85 percent of all industrial espionage incidents are ...

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