Are Trade Secret Police Patrolling Your Company?

Roger Farah should have known that his decision to leave Federated Department Stores Inc. for a top slot at rival R.H. Macy & Co. would spell trouble. As the merchandising-division chairman, Farah is critical to a company struggling to stay ahead of the competition. Federated figured Farah's expertise was so vital that it slapped him with a lawsuit on Aug. 7. Its big worry: that crucial business plans and other proprietary information would be useless if Farah went to work for Macy.

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