Patenting mobile app idea- its importance and how it is done
Napoleon Hill once said, “An idea is the beginning point of all fortunes.” Now, would you like it if someone stole that fantastic app idea from you, the mere essence of the app invented by you but applied by someone else? No, right? Nobody likes their thunder being stolen! That’s where a patent mobile app idea comes in a frame, safeguarding your discrete app idea.
In 1994, Apple claimed that Microsoft had stolen their idea of graphical user interface (GUI) from their formal partners Lisa and Macintosh OS. Microsoft won the fight in this massive clash considering that Apple hadn’t acquired a patent for GUI. Now you know the magnitude of effect a patent has on an individual unique idea.
In addition to patenting your app idea, if you opt to outsource your app development requirements to an efficient app development service provider then make sure you also sign the NDA with your partner. Any genuine mobile app development company has signing of NDA as one of the steps in hiring. Having understood the 2 important ways you could safeguard your app idea let’s move tot the how to part. Since NDA and the clauses mentioned in it is based on the agreement made between you and the service provider and so can be managed easily. Now, do you wonder how to patent your mobile app idea?
What is meant by patenting a mobile app idea?
Under intellectual property rights, a patent is a form of property law ensuring the safety of your mobile app idea. It keeps the idea limited to its rightful owner, avoiding other industries and individuals from stealing it. Thus, patenting an app is a necessary step to consider if you want to protect as well as prove the uniqueness of your idea.
Why patent an app idea?
Patenting an app comes in the frame if you want to execute your business processes successfully. It just simply grants you the privilege of safeguarding your app idea for a certain period of time and excluding others to steal it from you on a legal basis.
How to check whether your app idea has already been patented or not?
When it comes to checking whether your app idea has already been patented or not, it requires a detailed study on every app that is either marketed or is yet to be published. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Don’t worry, usually your respective state or country would have an operational database where this data is preserved and can be accessed. Other than that, to analyze your mobile app idea patent there are portals for intellectual properties and their global database, one of those is an international consortium known as WIPO.
Here is a detailed guide to patenting mobile app ideas and avoid clones stealing your brainchild.
Types of patent mobile applications
Patents are usually categorized considering the owner’s needs, and their individual features are further divided into two different applications such as:
Provisional application: Provisional application is the first approach of mobile app development companies in general because it privileges the company to boast as “patent pending” and is much more reasonable than a non-provisional application. Provisional application not only allows you to file international applications but also asserts priority within 12 months, giving you an abundant amount of time to modify and refine your initial idea and app simultaneously.
Non-provisional application: In mobile app idea patent, fundamentally, non-provisional applications are different from provisional ones. They can be filed without pursuing any reference to the app or priority of the application’s conventional company. Nevertheless, if you file such an application, it is crucial to simplify the specifications and accompany the claims that define the limits and boundaries of your brainchild in legal terms.
Key Steps to patent your app idea
Now, you must be curious about how and what exactly goes in a mobile patent application. Though the procedure to patent any product or service differs from region to region, here is a general step-by-step description to ease your mobile application patent process.
The specifications area for mobile app idea patent is divided into four individual parts as below:
Title– It should be brief yet accurate and illustrative.
Background– An elaborate backdrop of the app idea, including all preceding inventions and pertinent theories.
Summary– A detailed outline of the app and its purpose in meeting the challenges and delivering solutions mentioned in the background area.
Description– A thorough, in-depth guide to your app idea so much so that anyone in the field can build your app from scratch.
For patenting mobile app idea, this part is tricky and is undoubtedly capable of contesting for the legal ownership of any app. As you may not be able to claim ownership over everything as some of the other factors will be compromised under other patent ownerships, claims must consist of a detailed guide to all the aspects covered under your legal ownership.
A mapped-out representation of your app neatly executing a visual interface including figures for reference purposes.
For patenting mobile app idea, last but not least, there are two simple ways to buckle up your idea, such as file it electronically or snail mail it. In either case, it is essential to include a title, your name and date of filing, a self-addressed postcard and list of documents, page numbers, and the other basics to make sure nothing gets misplaced. Conclusively, hiring a reliable and experienced software patent attorney can be considered a wise choice.
Note that when patenting an app, it all together falls under the specific category of a process or method along with compositions of matter, machines, and articles of manufacture. Simultaneously, the logos, titles, and icons can be copyrighted or trademarked, but code can’t be patented as it falls under copyrights.
Aspects to consider
To patent the mobile app idea, different aspects can be considered as follow:
• Data privacy and pushing
• User identification
• Mobile and server processing
• Authentication and security tasks
• Device and server interactions
• Smartphone outputting
• Third-party transactions and server involvement
• Feedback reporting
What are the requirements and eligibility for an app idea patent?
As much as mobile app idea patenting may seem appealing and extremely important, enunciate that it’s not for each and every application. The three most important points required to be considered to qualify your app idea for mobile patent application are as mentioned below:
It should be unique
The road of getting a patent gets smoother if your idea is new, original, and unrivaled. It must depict your brilliance in creating something unique that explores the unexplored solutions.
It should be an invention
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a mobile app idea patent is given to an invention that has succeeded in finding a solution to any problem. A mobile application idea to patent is obviously not corporeal, and that’s why we call that process an invention. Therefore, that invention needs to rectify any problem to fall under the privilege of being called an invention.
Should be valuable and qualified
An app developed with a detailed description and concrete concentration can only be claimed as worthy of mobile app idea patent ownership. It must be qualified and helpful from specific perspectives but doesn’t necessarily have to be entertained in a specific category.
Alternatives to app patents
There are some other alternatives that legally bind your mobile app idea confidential and protect the expression of an idea such as:
NDA– A non-disclosure agreement is a legal document that is signed between two or more parties, generally between the mobile app organizations deciding to work together. It can be utilized in sharing technical, commercial or trading information or even intellectual properties.
Copyrights-It’s a legal means of protecting any inventor’s work, including the original works of authorship i.e. literary, drama, music, graphic, sculptures, codes or an idea. Although it doesn’t cover ideas, facts, methods and systems of the operation, you can copyright your app logo if not the app itself.
Trademarks-It’s a type of intellectual property that identifies the source of any product or goods, distinguishing it from others. A trademark protects phrases, symbols, words of an originator, prohibiting other competitors from selling or making the protected invention.
How much time does it take to patent a mobile app?
A provisional patent takes up to a year in which you can significantly work on the betterment of your app. On the other hand, a non-provisional patent may or may not take up to three years for the respective organization to review and examine the patent and conclude if it’s eligible or not.
What is the cost of patenting a mobile app idea?
The cost of mobile app idea patent relies on what type of patent you are choosing to apply for. If it’s a provisional patent, the cost of proper legal channels may vary from $2000 to $5000, while non-provisional patents cost approximately $10,000 to $15,000. As you can see, filing a patent for mobile app idea is not exactly cheap but works great as a security investment in the long run.
Prismetric’s ultimate recommendation
“A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” So, if you think your idea is as powerful as this statement by John F. Kennedy, then yes, you should get your app idea patent without any further delay. Once the mobile app idea is patented, you may contact trusted app development company for customized mobile app development.
Have fun patenting!
With a deep interest in new technologies, analyzing mobile application trends and impressive technical concoctions keep him inquisitive. He likes to read and write a lot. New app technologies, gadget fascinations, and big technology announcements kindle the writer in him spontaneously. His articles are his passion for innovative technologies.