Covington & Burling is representing an informal coalition of Big Business working to keep their trade secrets under wraps.

Procter & Gamble, Nike, Microsoft, General Electric, Eli Lilly and Corning Inc. are members of the Protect Trade Secrets Coalition, which is run out of C&B’s office in Washington.

They are concerned with issues such as copyright infringement, software piracy, tax invasion and corruption.

A study released Feb. 25 by PwC and the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade seeks to quantify the impact of the theft of secrets on the overall economy.

The report estimates the loss of trade secrets to competitors, transnational organized crime, unscrupulous employees, rogue nations and hacktivists costs the U.S. and advanced industrial states from one-to-three percent of overall GDP.

PwC and CRET believe theft is under-reported as corporate victims often fail to disclose a heist to avoid any negative publicity that could hamper business development and bolster competitors.

Daniel Spiegel, former US ambassador to the United Nations’ Geneva wing; Aaron Cooper, former chief counsel for intellectual property/antitrust law at the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Richard Hertling, ex-staff director at the House Judiciary Committee staff C&B’s team for the Coalition.