An invention disclosure, or invention disclosure report, is a confidential document written by a scientist or engineer for use by a company's patent department, or by an external patent attorney, to determine whether patent protection should be sought for the described invention. It may follow a standardized form established within a company. 
An invention disclosure within a company may go through the following stages:
- Submission of the invention disclosure details by the inventor.
- Review of the disclosure by business and technical reviewers. The reviewers grade the idea as 'pursue' or 'do not pursue' based on its perceived novelty or business importance. They might also decide to publish it as a defensive publication if the idea is novel but not aligned with the business interests.
- If the disclosure is accepted to be pursued further, a patent attorney is assigned for preparing a patent application.
- Inventor's notebook
- Lab notebook
- Laboratory information management system
- Scientific management
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