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a term used in international relations to describe technical knowledge that can consist of documentation and production experience and practices. In a broader sense, know-how is the entire body of technical knowledge and production experience that is needed to manufacture an article, to reproduce a production process, and so on. It includes technical and business information and unpublished inventions.
The term “know-how” is not used in law, but it is used in licensing agreements and agreements on technical collaboration. Know-how is considered to be the property of an enterprise, along with patents for inventions, trademarks, and copyrights. Exchange of know-how among enterprises can be implemented by transmittal of documentation, by provisions for training of production workers, and by supervision of production processes by experts. Transmittal of know-how usually takes place together with transmittal of patent rights or with sale of products; however, some agreements deal solely with the transmittal of know-how. An example of an agreement on the exchange of know-how is the treaty concluded between the USSR and the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1973.