Industry: Corporate Spies

Chicago's Abbott Laboratories, like most firms in the aggressively competitive drug industry, observes the most stringent plant security: work areas are grilled off and guarded, gates open only briefly for shift changes and deliveries, employee parcels are scrutinized. It is impossible, however, to police minds and memories. Abbott is seeking an injunction against two former employees, claiming that they memorized the formula for its highly successful Sucaryl, an artificial sweetener, and duplicated it in a competing product.

Abbott is only one of a growing number of companies with such security problems. Last week, at an American Management Association conference in...

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