Confidential Information and Know-how
Know-how (also known as expertise/trade secrets) means any information not in the public domain (i.e., confidential). Know-how can include techniques, recipes, experimental methods, technical information, processes and protocols, computer software, formulae, discoveries, prototypes, materials, results, drawings, models, data of all types and calculations.
Confidential information or know-how includes any information owned by someone which they wish to be regarded as confidential or secret. This includes commercially or technically valuable information. The management of confidential information must be tailored to protect the following:
- Information created by you
- Information disclosed to you
Confidential information may be patentable. However, it may be appropriate for the information to remain confidential. Be aware that retaining confidential information entails taking practical measures to ensure that confidentiality obligations are accepted by all parties.
Know-how is only of value as long as it remains secret or confidential. Generally, keeping information confidential is used only where other forms of protection are not possible and the information is judged to be of high commercial value.
Where information is being disclosed, an obligation of confidentiality can only be created where all parties are aware of the obligation and agree to it. In all cases, disclosure should be controlled by parties first entering into a written Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Research, Innovation & Enterprise Support
Please get in touch with the Business Engagement and Innovation Team who can help guide and support you with documents and paperwork relating to confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.