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Like most areas of law, Intellectual Property can appear daunting and complex. There are a great many practice areas, subjects and procedures. The SH&P “A-Z” Intellectual Property glossary is a free and easy to use glossary of legal terms commonly used and associated with IP. We hope that it will help you better understand this topic. All of the entries include contact details for SH&P expert advisers. Alternatively, you can request a free, no obligation, IP Consultation and Review here if you require more information or have a particular issue you would like us to help you with.
The term“know-how” is generally defined as the expertise or practical knowledge in how to do something. In the context of intellectual property, it refers to intangible assets such as confidential information and trade secrets.
Know-how can give a company a significant competitive edge and be of great value to its owner. For example, it may relate to unpatented inventions, optimised manufacturing techniques, or skills and knowledge possessed by experienced members of staff.
There is no registration procedure for know-how and so, in order to keep its value, it is essential that it remains confidential. If the know-how is to be shared with another party, this should be done under the terms of a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement (NDA). It is also important for know-how to be documented so that it can be readily identified and managed.