“Know-how” (also referred to as confidential information or trade secrets) is information that is unpublished or that has not entered the public domain. It cannot be patented, but may still be commercially valuable if it can be licensed along with other types of IP.

An example of confidential information is a surgeon’s knowledge of how to perform a surgical technique in conjunction with an idea/technology that has other intellectual property rights (e.g.patents, trademarks, design rights or a mixture) associated with it.

Please contact the HSC Innovations team if you need advice on what “know-how” is and “know-how” licences.

Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements (also known as non-disclosure agreements or confidential disclosure agreements) are legally binding documents that, when signed, allow one or more parties to discuss their confidential information with other parties. All parties are obliged to keep the information confidential and not disclose it to any third party.

The HSC Innovations team can provide advice on confidentiality agreements and arrange for agreements to be prepared and signed on your behalf. Please contact us if you would like us to prepare a confidentiality agreement for you.

The UK Intellectual Property Office website offers guidance on confidentiality, including a useful booklet on non-disclosure agreements.