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Trade Secret Theft Accounts For Up To 3 Percent of GDP

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers US and CREATe.org found that the theft of trade secrets amount to one to three percent of the United States GDP.

According to the study, malicious insiders are the number one source of exposing trade secrets. The loss from occupational fraud amounts to about $3.5 trillion worldwide. With the significant economic impact of trade secret theft, what can a company do to better protect its trade secrets?

Facebook struck again, this time dropping $19 billion ($16bn for the company and $3bn for the company's founders, per Wired) on WhatsApp, an insanely popular messaging app. For context the number is:

In short: it's a big, big number. And even if you didn't strike it rich in the deal, there are reasons you should be paying attention.

In the latest version of David v. Goliath, Kind, a small, but fast-growing company, is going up against Clif Bar, who has over 18% of the nutrition bar market as of 2012, reports Fortune. According to court papers filed on February 6, 2014, Kind is suing Clif for trademark infringement, la trade dress violation, related to the new, very similar packaging of Clif's Mojo nutrition bars.

Trade Dress Similarities

Kind's packaging features a large clear band so consumers can see the product inside. Daniel Lubetzky, the company's founder stated, "Everything you see in our product is about transparency ... We were the first ones to [have a transparent wrapper] in our industry, and now we have a lot of people trying to copy our approach," reports Fortune.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong's 'Distressed Babies': 3 PR Lessons Learned

AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong is still reeling from his massive "distressed babies" public relations debacle. At a town hall meeting, Armstrong blamed two AOL employees' "distressed babies" and their pricey health care costs for the company's decision to cut employee retirement benefits, Reuters reports.

Deanna Fei, an accomplished writer and mother to one of the so-called "distressed babies," penned an incredibly moving article for Slate about how Armstrong's town hall comments has affected her family, including her husband, the AOL employee.

Here are three lessons in-house counsel should take away from this mess:

One of the emerging trends of the past decade is the rise of the legal department operations manager ("LDO manager"), who reports directly to general counsel, and oversees the operational and managerial aspects of the law department, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel. In doing so, general counsel has more time to devote to leadership, counseling and strategy.

But what exactly do LDO managers do? Their tasks are ever evolving, but can be broken up into three main categories: finance, technology, and project management.

Former Alex and Ani GC Files Wrongful Termination Suit

Robert Rainville, a former general counsel for Alex and Ani, filed a lawsuit against the Rhode Island-based lifestyle brand, claiming wrongful termination in addition to breach of contract with regard to stock and bonuses.

The case is a good reminder for in-house counsel to formalize "perk promises" and to also make work boundaries clear.

Steven Fabrizio, a veteran attorney in the entertainment industry, is taking his work in content protection to new heights as he has accepted a position as senior executive vice president and global general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Recognized "as one of the preeminent copyright and content protection lawyers in the country," Fabrizio has represented the MPAA as lead outside counsel as a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Jenner & Block.

As a mother of a little girl, I came across Goldieblox in my search for un-pink toys. The company's goal is to inspire a new generation of engineers to equalize the playing field as only 11% of engineers are women, worldwide. As someone also raised on late '80s -- early '90s hip hop, when I saw their commercial set to the tune of the Beastie Boys' "Girls," I had one more reason to be a fan.

But, rather predictably, the Beastie Boys are not fans.

FindLaw Survey: Employers Rarely Ask for Social Media Passwords

We hear the nightmarish "Big Brother" tales of employers requiring social media passwords as a condition of employment.

But as in-house counsel might expect, only three percent of Americans have actually been asked by an employer to hand over their social media passwords, according to a new FindLaw survey.

Back in October, we posted about JP Morgan and the DOJ's tentative settlement, and yesterday, a $13 billion settlement was finalized, and announced, reports The New York Times.

As one banking analyst stated to the Los Angeles Times, "[b]efore the crisis, Big Brother was asleep on the couch ... Now Big Brother is coming back with a vengeance."