I am doing some online search on inventions and patents. Step 1 seems to be keeping accurate records. They also say to have a couple of individuals sign and date the entries. I am assuming these are people you trust. Would your family count? What are some best practices in recording notes about your invention?

I posted the question on the patent site. And I believe Dawn was interested in confidentiality aspect. I completely agree; that is my concern also.

  • This is a perfect question for Patents - posting unopened REGISTERED POST letters to a Patent Attorney is probably the cheapest, but hardly the best, where it says have a couple of individuals sign and date the entries they mean like Justices of Peace (JPs) and people who are qualified/authorised to sign and date official documents. Consider asking this question over at Patents. Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:52
  • @JeremyThompson- Thanks; I posted there also.
    – maverick
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 16:01
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic only because the questioner has already asked a duplicate question on Patents.SE.
    – WBT
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


Do read this labnotes policy published by Oxford University. Many points on good practices for keeping a lab notebook while working on patents, not all will be helpful.

It suggests that "entries should be witnessed and corroborated by someone who is not working on the same project but who is competent to understand the work."

I think the logic behind this suggestion is that an ordinary person skilled in the art is vouching that you did that technical work on this day, whereas family members attestation cannot be considered equivalent to that. They don't understand your technical work.

As you'll get many good suggestions from the above cited link, but from law's point of view, you should be concerned about logs, what work was done on which date while working on the invention. It is important for novelty aspects of the invention and inventor's credit/authorship, which means what is claimed by whom in case more than one inventors are working on the same project.


On second thoughts, whoever will be signing your logbook will be an indicative of the fact that he received that particular knowledge from your logbook. Another suggestion will be to keep a record of people whom you will show your logbook, get an NDA signed before you show logbook. For the witness purpose, this is what I've read at the end of disclosure, "I've witnessed and understand this disclosure. I agree to keep this disclosure confidential" or "The above confidential information is witnessed and understood by", afterwards was signature of witnesses with name, address & contact details.

  • It isn't really relevant from a novelty perspective. I agree with the rest, though!
    – user3851
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 19:21
  • @maverick , i'll be glad if some one can shed more light on confidentiality concerns as someone else will be looking at your invention workbook. Thanks dawn !!
    – lawsome
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 19:24
  • @lawsome- I am with you. That is a major concern for me also.
    – maverick
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 16:01
  • @maverick , edited the answer with my views on confidentiality.
    – lawsome
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 8:20

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