Non-patented know-how represents a key part of a company’s value. The know-how is generally technical in nature but can also be commercial, marketing-related or organisational, etc.


Non-patented know-how cannot always be separately valued from a company’s goodwill under generally accepted accounting principles. Such know-how has, however, a real financial value to a prospective purchaser.


The non-patented know-how is occasionally subject to a licence agreement or a technology transfer agreement. The assessment of such know-how involves reviewing the financial conditions related to such transfer.

The scope of application includes:

  • know-how acquisition or disposal;
  • negotiations in conjunction with a collaboration or a merger in which each party contributes an element of know-how;
  • internal restructuring;
  • Purchase Price Allocation (PPA);
  • specification or justification of the royalty rate or a know-how transfer;
  • damages resulting from the unlawful disclosure or misappropriation of secret know-how.


Non-patented know-how’s value is generally assessed on the basis of reproduction costs or through future earnings methods. To be relevant, the approach requires a detailed diagnosis of the content and the specificities of the know-how, including:

  • identifying the know-how and analysing its strategic importance to the company (we will work alongside an external partner that possesses a detailed knowledge of the know-how’s technical aspects if needed);
  • analysing the know-how’s commercial value internally (direct exploitation) and externally (licensing or transferring).

Our Work

Our work includes the production of a detailed report setting the nature and the financial value of the know-how assessed including its technical, commercial and financial mapping and recommendations on how to optimise its value.

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