Saturday, October 10, 2009

Business Espionage - The McGraw-Hill Case

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in New York, construction information publisher Reed Construction Data claims that McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge posed as fake customers of RCD in order to access confidential information and trade secrets. According to the filing made in the Southern District Court of New York, Dodge used consultants to subscribe to RCD data under false identities and companies. RCD says in its statement, “Dodge then allegedly manipulated the information to create misleading comparisons between Dodge and RCD’s products and services in an effort to confuse the marketplace.”

The actual court filing names Dodge employee Erick Kubicka as the person appointed as “Director of Competitive Intelligence,” whose job was to penetrate RCD’s databases. In fact, the suit says that Kubicka was commonly referred to by colleagues as “The Spy.” The filing also claims that Kubicka later gave a presentation in 2004 and 2005 to his own sales reps that included a walk-through of RCD’s Reed Connect data product and its competitive weaknesses. The information had been gleaned by a consultant hired by Dodge who posed as a customer and gave Dodge unfettered access to the RCD databases. (more)

Spy Tip: "Director of Competitive Intelligence" is not a subtle enough cover for the job.