Every inventor should keep a written record of his or her invention. Buy a spiral bound notebook or three-ring binder that you can use to keep your notes about the invention. Every time that you think of a new invention, or an improvement to an existing invention, write it down! Also, you should sign and date every entry and, if possible, have every entry witnessed by a trusted person who is not a co-inventor.

Your notebook should include a description of your invention, sketches or drawings of the invention, a discussion of how your invention works, and a discussion of what problems are solved by your invention as compared to existing products.

Also, once you have invented something, you are bound to make improvements along the way. Write them down!  If you make a prototype, keep track of the date and features of the prototype in your notebook.

Does this sound like a lot of work? Yes, but it could be very important. This information will be used by your patent attorney to prepare your patent application. It is also important if someone else comes up with the same idea and tries to get a patent. In the U.S., the first inventor to file a patent application is entitled to the patent, and your records may be important evidence that you are actually an inventor and did not obtain the information from another person.

Click here to download Record of Invention form