Is your Business Idea worth stealing?
Imagine apps like Uber, Instagram, App like WhatsApp, Candy Crush, or other giant apps that have completely taken over the app market. These App Ideas succeeded in winning the heart of their users. The rising growth of the app market has generated immense opportunities for unique apps to hit the markets and make millions. As per Statista, the global app revenue is poised to generate more than 935 Billion US Dollars through in-app advertising and the app store. No wonder why startups want to develop their own app!
Thinking about developing your own app? In this golden age of apps, if you have an app idea that may simplify the user’s life and may add value to their lives. Then you are all set to reap the benefits of the soaring market. But how do you ensure that your idea is safe? If you have an idea worth millions, with the best functionalities, you definitely can’t risk getting it stolen.
If you already have a brilliant mobile app idea and have decided to go ahead with it, Beware! Before you start the development process of your app, it is crucial to think about protecting your app idea. As the mobile app market has poised great opportunities for various entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs to develop their app, the number of mobile applications is rising significantly.
Why is it important to protect your app idea?
If you are unaware of the gravity of protecting your app idea, it is definitely worrisome. As there are thousands of apps launching every day. Thus, until you are all set to launch your app, as a founder you must be worried about getting your app idea stolen. It is imperative for you to think of all the possible ways to protect your application from various pirates. Although, there is no legal way to protect just an idea, however, the expressions of your idea can be protected! In fact, you must also not talk or discuss many of your applications to anyone till the time an NDA is signed.
The fact that many applications have gained huge success in a short span of time, has spurred many startups to launch their app and reap the benefits. Your app idea is your asset, which can be stolen by competitors or rivals and thus needs to be protected. As protecting your valuable app is crucial, right from the developmental stage, you must take appropriate actions to protect your mobile app. If you are not sure where to begin with, and how to do it, worry not. In this post, we have listed down all the possible ways you can legally protect your mobile application.
How to protect your app idea?
As mentioned earlier, only an idea of the app cannot be protected but the expressions of your idea can be. This is done in various ways including trademarks, non-disclosure agreements, patent rights, and others.
Share confidential information selectively:
First and foremost, you must ensure that you share information about your app very selectively. Remember that any information related to your app is vital. It should not be shared even with your close ones unless it’s important. We understand that sometimes sharing your app idea is important in cases where you need help. You convey the instructions to your app developer, pitching to clients, or with any other stakeholder. However, while sharing information with them, make sure that you give only the required info instead of explaining every detail of your budding application. The more you share, the more it is likely that your app idea might get stolen and vice versa.
Build the app immediately after finalizing the idea:
Yes, you heard it right! To avoid your idea being stolen, the safest way to protect your app idea is to turn it into a working mobile application. As different protection rights like copyright are granted only after developing the application. It is important to convert your idea into a concrete app as soon as possible. Once the app is developed and you have copyrights, you can be assured that your app’s code design is safe and protected. Thus, if you want no one to steal your code, get your app developed soon after you are done with conducting the market study and finalizing the functionality and features of the app.
Set a non-disclosure agreement:
To protect your application, this is vital to set up a non-disclosure agreement or a non-competent agreement during the developmental stages. While hiring developers and designers for your application development project, you must make sure that they sign the non-disclosure agreement. NDA is a simple way that ensures that all confidential information related to the mobile application shall only be kept between the two parties. Having the NDA signed protects your app from being stolen or used by any developer or firm involved in the project. The non-competent agreement asserts the company not to reveal any information about your project to the competitors. It also refrains the people to share any information about your app with any other individual or company.
Apply for a patent application:
Patent rights provide even more protection than Copyrights. Though it’s a great way to protect your app idea. But filing for a patent application is really an expensive deal and is definitely a tedious task. If you decide to go for a patent application, you must know that it might even take more than two years for issuing the application patent. With the help of an attorney, you can file for patent application providing all the important information. If you consider your mobile app to be new and useful, only then consider getting your app patented as it costs heavy.
However, once you get your app patented, you will then only have to protect the functionality of your app and protect it against independent development. As an alternative, you can also consider getting the provisional patent which holds validity up to one year. This also gives you further time to make further improvements with your mobile application.
Note: Not all the applications are subjected to patent rights, to make sure that your app meets all the requirements to get the patent rights, you can consider an attorney.
Trademark the app’s name & logo:
There are various apps in the market which have strong brand identity and recognition. This is because of its branding strategy that uses a unique logo and colors. It creates a brand recall factor in the users. For instance, anywhere you see the WhatsApp logo, you already know which app is it or think of Candy Crush logo, you can recall the app’s name without even having to read about it. This brings your concern to protect your app’s name or logo from competitors, which can be done through a trademark.
Having a trademark for your logo and name is a great way to refrain developers from designing logos or use font & colors similar to your app to confuse the users. Protecting the name and logo of the application is very important. It is another effective way to protect your mobile application. Having the trademark for your app and logo restricts the other developers or competitors to use your name, icons or logo in compliance with their brand. This method is a way to prevent your competitors from copying your route. Other than protecting the name and logo, you can also trademark the functionalities and features of your app.
Copyright is a great way to protect any property, product or service. Similarly, it is also a popular way to protect mobile applications. However, you must understand that you cannot copyright the idea but can only copyright the app’s code, design, and UI. Copyright gives protection to your mobile app from direct duplicates or copiers. As compared to other ways, copyright is also a cost-effective way to protect your apps. Unlike patent or trademark. It can be filed online to protect your original app work including code, graphics, AV, and text.
Other Ways To Protect Your Application
Conduct a background check of people involved:
As a business/ app owner, you must be very cautious while choosing people to get involved with your app development process. Getting involved with the wrong people comes with serious consequences. Thus it is recommended to go ahead with the close or right people. Before you get them involved in your project, make sure to verify that they hold a decent reputation while working with other projects. Having honest and trustworthy people with you can help you turn your app idea successfully while getting involved with the wrong people can ruin your project completely. Thus, before you decide to share any confidential information, make sure that you run a complete background check of people involved like developers, clients, investors, contractors, and others.
Pursue people if they infringe your work:
If you find someone copying your work, do take action against them. The moment you pursue people who try to copy your app, it will also prevent others to do the same. If you fail to take any action, you are most likely to have a competitor who copies your app, adds some extra features to it and launches it as a competition and you may end up in a serious legal battle. Thus, pursuing people in the initial stage itself is a great way to protect your app and keep yourself away from legal proceedings.
Keep your work original:
It is not always the case that people would copy your ideas, but sometimes, even app owners end up copying other’s ideas and follow trends. But here, you must understand that getting inspired by other’s work is absolutely fine but trying to imitate the same thing might not go well. Do not just focus on creating what is popular. You also must consider what is needed. Rather than simply creating apps like others won’t bring you more success. Thus, try to keep your work as original as possible. If you copy others, others can also copy you and launch their app. The more original work you develop, the more unique your app would become. Instead of replicating other’s work try to bring out your original, use your own business model and ultimately change your app’s fate!
Choose professional relationships carefully:
Last but not the least, always choose your professional relationship very carefully as it can decide the fate of your apps. As developing your application would require you to outsource developers or an agency. It is important for you to cross-check the agency carefully before you finalize it. To ensure that you reach the right developers. Go through their website, research about their clientele, read their reviews and then finally make your mind. Do maintain a contract beforehand which holds all the copyright to be released as soon as your application is developed as it is the agency that holds the app’s code and design. If you work with a professional service company with a good reputation and integrity, you can certainly protect your app being copied.
Remember, all through the cycle of your application, protecting your application is a never-ending cycle. Following all the legal protections, making smart decisions and taking all precautionary measures will ensure that your app is well-protected. Every million-dollar application started with an idea. So do not undermine it and take all necessary actions to protect it…
As an app developing company, we have developed and seen many apps launching and making millions. We have a wealth of experience and trust that we use to help wantrepreneurs & startups to create compelling apps. We bring out some amazing functionalities for their users. If you too are looking for a reliable app development company to closely work with your app development stages. Contact us today and be assured to have your projects in safe hands! For any query or questions, relating to protecting your app idea, feel free to comment or connect