A Washington, D.C., court has rebuffed efforts by Ketchum, Dezenhall Resources, two clients and defunct private investigation firm Beckett Brown International to dismiss civil charges of corporate espionage brought by Greenpeace in late 2010.

While Superior Court Judge Michael Rankin this week dismissed four of Greenpeace's six claims against the parties -- including Dow Chemical and Sasol North America -- he said the environmental group's charges of trespass and misappropriation of trade secrets can proceed.

Rankin said Greenpeace's claim that BBI used covertly acquired security codes and an agent who posed as a prospective volunteer to enter Greenpeace office's without consent to acquire documents and information was enough to survive the motion to dismiss.

The judge also said Greenpeace's claim of misappropriation of trade secrets can also proceed.

Rankin threw out Greenpeace's claims of trespass to common areas and by electronic surveillance, conversion, and trespass to chattel.

The parties are set to appear in court for a schedule conference on March 29.

A federal judge in 2011 dismissed all claims of a racketeering suit Greenpeace filed against Ketchum, Dezenhall, Dow Chemical and Sasol North America. The environmental group brought that action under the federal RICO laws.