Should I keep an inventor's notebook?

Yes. The organizers strongly encourage students to keep an inventor's notebook. To this end, one notebook will be provided to each student whose team has completed their Inventor Profile. Please come by the front desk of Clough Commons 205 after completing your Inventor Profile to get your notebook.

An inventor's notebook is a written record of your invention and your progress in developing it. While there are many websites offering guides to the proper keeping of an inventor’s notebook, this Wikipedia entry is particularly well done.

When using your notebook, keep in mind these five simple attributes:

  • Notebooks must be permanently bound with consecutively numbered pages.
  • Use legible and permanent (inked) entries.
  • Use initialed (or signed) and dated entries.
  • Signatures should be witnessed for significant entries.
  • Witnesses need to understand the technology but would not be named as co-inventors.

A patent can be litigated at any time during its life. Twenty to twenty-five years can elapse from the date of the initial concept to the expiration of an issued patent. It is therefore important to maintain your notebooks accordingly.