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      09-21-2015, 05:55 PM   #1
Dackelone
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Exclamation Industrial espionage seen at the Frankfurt Auto Show...

Industrial espionage is the covert and sometimes illegal practice of investigating competitors to gain a business advantage. The target of investigation might be a trade secret such as a proprietary product specification or formula, or information about business plans.

industrial espionage
n
1. (Commerce) attempting to obtain trade secrets by dishonest means, as by telephone- or computer-tapping, infiltration of a competitor's workforce, etc




Earlier this week while at the press days at the Frankfurt Auto Show(IAA) I was really astounded by how brazen and openly to corporate spies were operating at every manufacture's booth/display! I've seen it before in past years at the IAA... but this year it seemed like the flood gates were open. It was really amazing how many "spies" were out and about.

Most of the German car makers just turned a blind eye to it. But I remember at Ford(and at some other booths) the staff would ask to see your press credentials and IF you could not provide them... you could not look at their cars or sit inside of them. I remember talking to a few sales people from the different manufacturers... and I was like... this is a PRESS DAY... so how do these people get in here? They said that ANY manufacturer can put people they want on a List... and that is how they get into the show.

I even saw some people with really young kids on the Press Days at the IAA. That really blew my mind. So unprofessional IF you ask me.

Here are a few pics of the kinds of spies I saw. This is just a few. I think at almost every car maker's display area... I saw "spies" taking pics. Closeups or pics with small rulers for scale. It was just unreal.


Dackel




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      09-21-2015, 06:00 PM   #2
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What you're seeing here is, shall we say, the very tip of the iceberg.
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      09-21-2015, 06:40 PM   #3
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lots of companies make replacement and complementary parts to our cars, it's only logical that they'd want specific measurements to get a head start on production

I wouldn't just assume these guys are trying to copy the car for their own sales
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      09-21-2015, 06:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc535i View Post
lots of companies make replacement and complementary parts to our cars, it's only logical that they'd want specific measurements to get a head start on production

I wouldn't just assume these guys are trying to copy the car for their own sales
I don't think thats what was shown in the OP. And it certainly wouldn't be with a pen, paper, and camera.
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      09-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #5
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They'd probably just buy one and use it for R&D rather than what I am seeing in these pics...
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      09-21-2015, 07:22 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, this doesn't just happen in auto shows. It is happening everywhere. Industrial is not only the target but also information, technology and economic. Security unfortunately is put on a way side for media marketing and coverage. I don't know how companies weigh in between their loss of technology and their competitor's advancement. Maybe it's only a small percentage of loss and can probably gain it back through lawsuits or the competitor's knock-offs being not up to par, so they go back to the OEM. Either way, it's a big problem in America and I'm sure other countries too.
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      09-21-2015, 07:52 PM   #7
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I believe they get info from autoshows when the cars debut first... then they'll buy it and tear into it themselves when the cars are actually available for purchase.

Of course this is a larger problem with mainstream cars versus exotics and such. There's no need to "copy" exotics because they are so specialized and very few people in that market anyway.
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      09-21-2015, 08:07 PM   #8
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nuts right? I went to the PGA show one year where all the new golf clubs are released and was dumbfounded by what I saw.
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      09-21-2015, 08:10 PM   #9
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Is this a serious post?

If the cars are displayed at a damn auto show, even in a pre/press only event, anything visible is not a trade secret, but its very definition. In fact, by not actively preventing people from looking at their displays, they are forfeiting the right to claim it's a trade secret. The cars are sitting there for public display (that includes members of the press). It's all fair game.

I'm sorry, but when you copied and pasted the definition of "industrial espionage", did you happen to take the time to read it?
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      09-21-2015, 08:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
Is this a serious post?

If the cars are displayed at a damn auto show, even in a pre/press only event, anything visible is not a trade secret, but its very definition. In fact, by not actively preventing people from looking at their displays, they are forfeiting the right to claim it's a trade secret. The cars are sitting there for public display (that includes members of the press). It's all fair game.

I'm sorry, but when you copied and pasted the definition of "industrial espionage", did you happen to take the time to read it?
I think you are missing the point. Just because a prada bag is displayed in a prada store it doesn't give anybody the right to copy it, produce it, sell it.
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      09-21-2015, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwoodBMW View Post
I think you are missing the point. Just because a prada bag is displayed in a prada store it doesn't give anybody the right to copy it, produce it, sell it.
What?

First off, he said nothing about copying legally protected designs, producing them, and selling them. He said industrial espionage, which deals with trade secrets. Nothing there even remotely resembles "industrial espionage". Taking pictures of the competition, looking into their materials, etc. is not the same thing as "copying it, producing it, and selling it". I'm not sure how you made that leap.

And yes, they in fact can copy, produce and sell anything not protected by any IP. In the case of specific interior layouts, etc., they would only have to be mindful of design patents, which are relatively easy to work around. If Prada doesn't have a design patent on their bag...I most certainly can copy, produce, and sell an EXACT copy of it under my own label/brand. And I most certainly can walk around a bag show taking pictures of my competition without committing anything even remotely resembling industrial espionage.

OP clearly was attempting to convey that the actions of the people at the show were in some way illegal. That was his point. And that's plainly wrong.
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      09-21-2015, 09:16 PM   #12
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Since when is taking pictures at a public event considered "espionage." If anything the car companies want pictures of their cars widely circulated for free marketing.
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      09-22-2015, 05:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3m3mr View Post
Since when is taking pictures at a public event considered "espionage." If anything the car companies want pictures of their cars widely circulated for free marketing.
Agreed, this is a public event........so it's all fair game.

Some CEOs from other auto companies actually visit booths from other automakers. Nothing wrong or illegal about that....
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      09-22-2015, 05:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3m3mr View Post
Since when is taking pictures at a public event considered "espionage." If anything the car companies want pictures of their cars widely circulated for free marketing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven View Post
Agreed, this is a public event........so it's all fair game.

Some CEOs from other auto companies actually visit booths from other automakers. Nothing wrong or illegal about that....
Its one thing to take pics of cars at a show. Its another to take macro close ups of leather surfaces or dashboards with little rulers for reference. And also to look at how certain things are engineered on the car like trunk/hood hinges, Nav, instruments, etc.


I saw plenty of CEO's visiting other cars makes. In fact a certian BMW CEO I saw at the Audi and Alfa stands checking out the M4's new competitors.
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      09-22-2015, 06:03 AM   #15
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Oh that's just China looking for inspiration for their 2016 knock offs.
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      09-22-2015, 09:44 AM   #16
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I don't know how many of you follow current events. But, to simply put, there are numerous countries that have advanced in their techs, industry and economic state at a fraction of what the U.S. has accomplished over the last three decades. Don't even get me started with the military.
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      09-22-2015, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
Oh that's just China looking for inspiration for their 2016 knock offs.
There you go being the paranoid racist again...







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      09-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #18
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      09-22-2015, 11:08 AM   #19
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      09-23-2015, 08:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tc535i View Post
lots of companies make replacement and complementary parts to our cars, it's only logical that they'd want specific measurements to get a head start on production

I wouldn't just assume these guys are trying to copy the car for their own sales
Hey, I've got a really big excavator over here. We'll need it to move all that sand you've got your head buried in.

You're not serious with this comment, are you?
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      09-23-2015, 09:08 AM   #21
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The biggest challenge is not to get to be #1, it's to be and stay as #1!!!! Who ever get first is the winner.....of that race, what about the upcoming ones? Keep pushing. That is the only way to stay in 1st place. East cloture copies a lot and a guess their counterfeit laws are not as tough as ours. Let them be. Sooner than later they will get better.
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      09-23-2015, 11:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Its one thing to take pics of cars at a show. Its another to take macro close ups of leather surfaces or dashboards with little rulers for reference. And also to look at how certain things are engineered on the car like trunk/hood hinges, Nav, instruments, etc.


I saw plenty of CEO's visiting other cars makes. In fact a certian BMW CEO I saw at the Audi and Alfa stands checking out the M4's new competitors.
Eh... that's just part of being in a competitive industry. Of course you are going to look up close at the competition, you need to figure out what they are doing better than you so you can do it better than them. This kind of fierce competition is a good thing for consumers AND the industry as a whole, as long as it's not being done illegally. That's my opinion at least.
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