We live in a globalized economy that’s completely connected through the internet. And, the internet has led to several milestone developments, Apps being one of them.
Today, apps are an integral part of several technology platforms right from Android Apps to Apps for TVs, consoles, etc. For developers, apps have a far reach, allowing them to sell to a million people around the world. In 2017, the estimated app developers were close to 8.7 million around the world.
However, a lot of people are trying themselves with app development, and just like consumer goods, there are a lot of knock-offs and clone applications.
In case you have come up with the App and are ready for it to go live, then, perhaps you might need to get a few pointers about your rights regarding its intellectual property and how you can protect your app.
Understand the legalities and be Original
While it might sound daunting, it’s a good idea to keep yourself updated with a few legal aspects. For instance, understand what intellectual property means and what would apply to your apps, such as the viability of copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
In case you have taken inspiration for your app from an existing application, make sure you are not infringing someone else’s right. A lot of time we are inspired by what others do, but the best way to ensure that you don’t get into any sticky legal situations is by being as original as possible.
You can’t protect an idea
Yes, you might have a great idea for an app. However, you can’t patent or copyright an idea. This is because thinking of a ‘cool app’ is much more different than developing the same. So, start coding your app, and maintain proof of when you began the application.
Note that the copyright comes into existence as you code your application. Once the app is developed you can secure a copyright registration to protect the coding of your app. Only the coding of the app is protected; you cannot protect the idea behind it.
Paperwork is essential
It’s possible that you have hired a few freelancers to help you with your coding. There are two rights here that you need to protect.
- Make sure that the freelancers give the intellectual property rights to the part of the app that they have developed to you. If you don’t do this, it could lead to a situation where they could claim that a part of the app is theirs. So, be sure that you own the license to their work.
- Have non-disclosure agreements in place. While it’s possible that you may not have hired anyone to work with you, you could have shared your idea with a consultant or anyone else involved in the development process. Make sure they are bound by a confidentiality clause; you don’t want them to go rattling out your ideas to others.
Secure your App Name
The name of your app and its logo is an integral intellectual property asset that can be protected through trademark registration. After all, these are meant to act as the face of your app that people will recognize.
Therefore, even while coming up with a name, think about it from trademarks. You need a unique name and logo, not only to stand out but to also ensure that it’s distinctive enough to trademark in the future.
As a creator of the Mobile App, you must always restrict any unauthorized use by third parties. This will help you retain all the efforts that you have put in the planning, execution and creation of the application.