RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KEEPING A LAB BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KEEPING A LAB BOOK

A well kept laboratory notebook (lab book) is the best way to demonstrate the date of invention, i.e. when the invention was conceived and when it was made. In a dispute lab books may be required to be presented as legal evidence.

It is therefore recommended that:

  • a permanent, bound notebook with numbered pages is best

  • details of the work should be given, with descriptions of all experimental procedures, giving conditions of experiment and apparatus

  • dates should be given - of ideas, when work was started, when results achieved

  • the signature of the writer should appear on every page

  • each page should be independently verified by date and signature of someone who is not an inventor, indicating that they have read and understood the contents

  • any extrinsic materials should be permanently attached and the writer should sign across the join between the incorporated material and the page

  • ink should be used and any corrections signed

  • a line should be drawn through blank spaces, and

  • no pages should be left undated, unsigned or not witnessed.