Keep a Contemporaneous Engineering
That means, Write EVERYTHING Down, even include a dentist appointment;
that's what helps make it a believable Legal Document.
So keep the notebook up to date and have it Witnessed often by those
whom you trust, and understand your work.
This can mean the difference between Owning the Patent Rights to your
Work, or NOT! Also, it can jog the old memory and reduce the number
of times you do the same tests. "...gee, have I already done that..."
Of course, It Don't Hurt when Final Reports are Due!
the Patent Application process: use a Legally and Scientifically
(1) Use a Bound (stitched binding) notebook. DO NOT use a loose leaf
or Spiral bound notebook!
(2) Entries Should be in Permanent Ink--Not
(3) The Title, Project Number, and Book Number should be accurately
recorded when starting a New Page.
(4) All data is to be recorded directly into the notebook. The inclusion
of all elaborate details is preferable. Notes and calculations should be
done in the notebook, NOT on loose paper. In the case of an error, draw
a single line through the incorrect data. Do Not Erase or use correction
fluid. All corrections should be initialed and dated.
(5) After entering your data, sign and date all entries. Witness or
witnesses should sign and date each entry. The witness must observe the
work that is done, and have sufficient knowledge to understand what they
read. Names of all who were present during any demonstration should also
(6) Use Both sides of a Page.
Never leave any White Space: "X" out or Crosshatch all unused space,
and don't forget to initial & date same.
(7) All contents of the notebook should be kept strictly Confidential.
It should be kept in a Protected place to safeguard against Loss.