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Patenting & Licensing Process

  Laboratory Notebooks

Accurate and detailed record keeping is vital to determining inventorship and related patent rights. Since scientists use notebooks to document concepts and related experiments, the patent examiners and the courts often rely on the notebooks to determine who first made the invention and when. Thus, a properly kept laboratory notebook can be invaluable in the patent process.

Laboratory notebooks and procedure manuals used to document inventive activity should have at least four attributes: 1) The pages of the notebook should be permanently bound together and consecutively numbered, 2) entries in the notebook should be legibly recorded in ink without large white spaces between text, 3) the pages should be signed and dated by the person or persons performing the work and by at least one witness, and 4) enough detail should be included so that someone else with similar skill and knowledge to the inventor (i.e. "one skilled in the art") could repeat the work. Each of these attributes may play a part in proving the accuracy or authenticity of the invention.


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