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Is a rival firm spying on you?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW - Intellectuall Property Litigation

Business can be competitive, and if you’re successful, it’s likely that someone will try and copy you at some point. Before a rival can try to copy your ideas and branding, they may need to carry out some due diligence or, in other words, they may spy on you. 

Here’s how you can tell if a rival firm is spying on you

Poaching your workers 

One way that a rival firm may spy on you is by closely monitoring your workers. They may ask them for information or even offer to pay them for this information. In some cases, a rival firm may flat-out poach an employee to work for them.  

As Non-compete agreements have recently been outlawed, you can no longer utilize these to protect your brand. However, there are a host of other legal tools that you can use. These can be included in your employment contracts.  

Sending in mystery shoppers 

Customers provide valuable feedback. However, what if the “customer” isn’t really a customer? It is not uncommon for rival firms to send in mystery shoppers to gather information about your brand and processes. They can then report this back to the rival firm. 

Follows on social media 

A rival firm following you on social media could be completely innocent. Nonetheless, the intentions could also be more sinister. Social media is an excellent way to gather information about a brand, their customer base and much more. In the wrong hands, information is power and it could potentially be used against your business. 

Some of the above factors are not necessarily illegal or sinister, but they can be. Context and the intentions of your rivals are important. If you feel that a rival is acting unfairly and stealing sensitive information, then it may be time to seek legal guidance.