Research and Innovation Support - Laboratory Notebook

office of the vice-president for research

laboratory notebook

It is essential to keep thorough records of experimental work as part of Good Research Practice and also for Intellectual Property purposes. At a future date it may be necessary to provide laboratory notebooks to prove the date of an invention and its reduction to practice. Specifically in cases of opposition to patent applications (European) and in litigation ( USA ) laboratory notebooks may be required to be presented as legal evidence. This is likely to occur many years after a Patent application was filed therefore it is essential that notebooks are retained, stored and filed carefully

Keeping an appropriate lab notebook is vital if you want to patent your idea in the USA , which operates on a "first to invent" process rather than the "first to file a patent application" process that operates in Europe and many other parts of the world. A written lab book is preferable to one kept electronically, as records are more easily altered or manipulated in electronic form. Any electronic records should be printed and affixed into a paper-based book. It is particularly important that appropriate Lab Notebooks are used for projects involving industrial collaborators and in many cases it is stipulated in collaborative research agreements.

The OVPR bulk purchases DCU Lab Notebooks that fully comply with Best Practise guidelines which can be purchased in batches of ten. Please contact the OVPR for further details.

Reference documents: -
DCU Lab Notebook Guidelines
National Code of Practice for Managing Intellectual Property from Publicly Funded Research