Before a scientist leaves a laboratory for a new position, what should be done?
1. Document all work in research notebook(s) and turn into the laboratory head. 2. Submit any Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) on work before leaving the laboratory. 3. Once a scientist joins another group they are free to make improvements or new discoveries based on their knowledge of the technology (they have right to practice their profession and continue their work). Industrial laboratories typically ask the individual not to work in the field for some period of time in return for some type of compensation. The scientist may decide not to sign the agreement and the company will send a letter to the new employer claiming ownership in technology that the scientist may be taking with them. This can lead to bad relationships with the scientist and the other institution but provides clear documentation of ownership.