It is extremely important for potential inventors to keep detailed laboratory notebooks. A U.S. patent is granted to the inventor who was the first to conceive the invention. A laboratory notebook is evidence for proving inventorship or first-to-invent. Below are guidelines on what to record in your notebooks and other records and how to keep your records.
Laboratory notebooks and other records can resolve issues such as who is an inventor and who is not, and who contributed what portion to the invention. Laboratory records must be sufficiently detailed and clear to allow someone "skilled in the art" to recreate the work and to conduct additional work without the direct assistance of the original researcher.
Record the following in your notebooks and other records:
Do NOT include in a notebook an opinion on patentability, any comments regarding the amount of additional effort required to complete the experiment or commercialize the results. Avoid any negative comments concerning the project or the results of an experiment and comments reflecting the nature, quality or utility of the results of a research project.