Economic Impact of Trade Secret Theft

February 2014
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Economic Impact of Trade Secret Theft

At a glance

News stories, international negotiations, and recent case law continue to demonstrate the importance of securing trade secrets as a means of ensuring prosperity for companies operating in the U.S. and abroad.

The Center for Responsible Enterprise & Trade ( has collaborated with PwC to assess the economic impact of trade secret theft. The effort has culminated in a report that focuses on four issues that are critical to understanding trade secret theft and how to improve companies’ ability to protect their most valuable information:

  • an estimate of trade secret theft across advanced industrial economies;
  • a threat assessment focusing on what threat actors are most active in targeting trade secrets;
  • an original framework for companies to assess the value of their own trade secrets; and
  • a look forward 10-15 years in the future to consider what forces and drivers may make trade secrets more or less secure.

The challenge of trade secret theft is too large for any one government, company or organization to deal with alone—only a collective focus on this issue will help improve innovators’ ability to secure their most critical information and trade secrets.