Protecting your app idea can be difficult – it may be highly lucrative, but if you tell larger companies about it, or even your developer, they may simply take the idea. To protect your app idea and keep ownership of it, there are several approaches:
Patent – This is the best protection if you can get it, but not all aspects of an app are protectable through an app patent. Basically, you can cover new and non-obvious algorithms, user interface and interactions with unusual hardware.
Non-Disclosure Agreement – if you sit down with a company to sell your idea, it’s preferable having the company representatives sign a non-disclosure agreement making clear who owns the idea. The problem is, most companies will not sign these. You may have better luck with your developer, however.
Copyright – this comes into play where the app is written and the user interface is designed. Copyright can protect the look and feel of the app, and also the code that makes the app work. However, it won’t protect the app idea, rather the specific version
Trademark – this protects the brand name for the app and a logo design, but won’t protect the way the app works.
Related Blog Post: US Patent Breakdown
To learn which approach is best for you, give us a call and one of our IP experts will go over the details and recommend the right strategy. Call today 858.263.7554.