We can help you set up procedures and an organizational structure to help identify possible IP within your research organization. As an alternative we can be retained to conduct an IP audit by interviewing your staff and researchers to identify possible patentable subject matter.
Lab Notebook Procedures
Having an effective laboratory notebook program not only includes training your scientific staff regarding proper protocols, but getting them to emotionally buy in to the program so that the procedures are followed. One way to accomplish this is to establish a program that is a compromise between a highly detailed and onerous protocol and no protocol at all. It is important to realize that any program that is followed carefully is better than a very stringent program that is ignored.
A recent case provides an example of why proper notebook protocol is important. In FREDRIC A. STERN, Plaintiff-Appellant v. THE TRUSTEES OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK and LASZLO Z. BITO, decided by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on 17 January 2006, the court held:
"Stern also argues that material in his laboratory notebooks would have proved his claim of co-inventorship, but that they were destroyed by Bito. However, regardless of the contents of the notebooks, unwitnessed laboratory notebooks on their own are insufficient to support his claim of co-inventorship. See Hybritech, 802 F.3d at 1378. Thus, the evidence Stern presented was insufficient to corroborate his claim of co-inventorship." (emphasis added)
It is significant to note that the laboratory notebook entries were made during the first couple of years of the 1980's and the matter was still being litigated in 2006.