Know-how is an information about the production process not covered by patents and licensing agreements, because they does not have clear and distinct nature of invention. They relate to the content of individual components in the final product or a particular stage of processing, connecting individual components together (e.g.. linking individual machines in the technological line), also technical methods associated with the patented processes and products necessary for the practical use of patents and their implementation into production. It also determines the technical knowledge and special properties discovered by the manufacturer as a result of its ongoing research, and not known to the competition.
There are technical know-how on production issues, as well as know-how about logistics and sales experience in trade of goods or services.
Know-how is referred as a experience, technical and non-technical knowledge, which is confidential in nature. It is characterized by the ability to identify and describe its practical use in business.
Examples of business know-how:
- long-term strategy for public relations to the selected client,
- database of contacts to representatives of customers
- developed system of quality standards of customer service
- method to reduce the cost of production.
- Roberts, J. (2000). From know-how to show-how? Questioning the role of information and communication technologies in knowledge transfer. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 12(4), 429-443.