Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Inventor's Notebook: Is it Tamper Proof?

Dear Rich: After reading David Pressman's Patent It Yourself. I learned of the importance of keeping a notebook to record and track the progress of an invention I'm working on. I went out and bought a spiral notebook at an office store to use as my inventor's notebook, and have entered ten pages to date. Lately I've been reading that a spiral notebook is not "tamper-proof" enough as compared to sewn or glue-bound notebooks. What are your thoughts? I plan on keeping the original notebook no matter what I decide to do. The short answer is that your notebook is fine for your purposes, especially if it includes signed, dated and witnessed entries that detail the creation of your invention. The Dear Rich Staff spoke with David Pressman who said, "it's just about impossible to remove and reinsert a page in a spiral-bound notebook. The signatures and the witnesses in chronological order are powerful proof of authenticity." 
What's an inventor's notebook do?  An inventor's notebook (sometimes called a "lab notebook") documents the development of an invention and can be used to assess commercial potential, make improvements, and keep track of contacts and notes. Inventor's notebooks are sometimes used to resolve disputes about inventorship, and to establish dates of conception and reduction to practice. Nolo sells a souped up inventor's notebook (with patent basics and worksheets) but a basic bound notebook will be fine.