An inventor’s notebook, or also called a logbook, is a special notebook designed for inventors to keep track of all of the details of their invention. This has always been important in the U.S. because we’ve always been a first to invent country. But that will all change on March 16, 2013 when the America Invents Act kicks in.
The first to invent means that the inventor has conceived and “reduced to practice” their idea. So, until March 16, 2012 the inventor’s notebook will be critical. Even after that date, keeping an inventor’s notebook will still add value to your invention. Why wouldn’t you do it anyway? It’s free. And just added proof that the idea is yours and you have been actively working to get it on the market.
You can technically use any kind of bound notebook that can’t be changed or altered, but I like to use ones like The Inventor’s Logbook: An Essential Record Keeping System It includes everything you need to know to document your idea and shows you how to do it step by step.
What goes in the notebook? Anything and everything that relates to your invention. That means any ideas, receipts for products that are similar, research, sketches, brainstorming, competition, branding, prototyping, pictures, etc. Staple any loose receipts to the appropriate page. The more details you can provide, the better.
Write it so others can understand what your invention does and why it’s better than anything similar on the market. If anyone has been helping you, you have to list their contributions.
Have each entry signed and dated by you and 2 witnesses or a Notary Public.
Then make sure you store the notebook in a fireproof safe. Intellectual property can be as valuable as cash.