How To Protect My Idea From Being Stolen – It has been a while since the development of the first mobile application. However, the prospect of trying new and exciting applications still excites users, especially when they are tested on new mobile devices such as wearables. This accounts for the leading app stores with billions of apps and a strong number of app downloads every year.
This indicates that the mobile app industry has a lot of potential and hence, many app development companies and startups want to tap into this potential. They want to launch unique apps with the best features and functionalities and experience incredible success.
How To Protect My Idea From Being Stolen
If you are an application entrepreneur, who wants to make it big in the world of mobile applications, you not only have to come up with a brilliant idea to do it, but also try to protect that idea a lot from being stolen. In fact, your application idea can be nicked by anyone who has the slightest hint about it including the people working on your project, your business consultants and of course, by your competitors if the matter reaches them.
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So, how do you prevent someone else from basking in the glory, which could easily be yours if they don’t steal your idea? Well, there are many app marketers out there who do just that – protect their app concept from theft. While some of them have learned the hard way, you don’t need to follow the same path. You can get some useful tips by going through these sites, which will help you get a better look.
Copyright is one of the most popular laws when it comes to intellectual property protection. However, it has a drawback. You can never copyright an ‘idea’. Yes, the code and UI elements of your app can be copyrighted but then, it will only be fruitful if someone copies the complete app that is not a variation of the same. The plus point of licensing your app is that it’s a little cheaper than most other options and at least provides a basic level of protection against outright copycats.
Perhaps one of the most common steps taken by many business establishments for the protection of their intellectual property is to obtain a non-disclosure agreement. Whether you are hiring advertisers, designers or project managers and business development executives to work on your project, ask them to sign an NDA with you for your app project. Make sure you hire the best lawyer to prepare the NDA to serve the purpose.
A non-compete agreement basically aims to keep people from revealing trade secrets to another, rival company. Essentially, it prevents developers and other professionals working on your project from working on any project that would directly compete with yours. The catch here is that developers won’t work on your competitors’ projects for a while, even when they’re done working on your project.
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This means that they will be out of technology for that time or will not be able to work with the clients they want and therefore, the non-compete agreement can add to your expenses. Moreover, it is difficult to find a famous producer, who is willing to sign such a contract.
If everything falls apart for you, I suggest you opt for a non-compete agreement to protect your app idea.
Applying for a patent is tricky, even though it’s widely practiced to protect intellectual property such as app code or ideas. It is tricky because you patent mainly in ‘invention’ and it takes 2-3 years for the issue of software patents after applying for the same.
Once you have a patent in place, you not only protect the functionality of your app but also protect it against variations and independent development of the same app by a rival. You need to bear in mind that only unique and not obvious activities are patentable. Also, you need to gather all the necessary information related to the same before making any public announcements. I suggest that you work in close quarters with your attorney to get everything right.
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The return is also clear – a patent is not cheap. Sometimes, it is more than what you invest in the development of the application. However, you can always apply for a provisional patent, which protects your app idea for one year.
Some patents are still available for as many as 20 years. This means you are basically buying time. Even if your app idea doesn’t come to fruition, you still have time on your hands to continue trying to bring your app to completion without anyone else attacking your idea.
Also Read: How To Patent Your Mobile App – Brilliant Tip Really Worth Securing OPT FOR Business
Trademarks basically help you restrict others from using words or symbols such as logos and symbols, which are associated with your app or service. Apart from just the name, logo and icon of your app, you may also want to trade the name of all the services or features, which your app provides. This step will definitely go a long way to prevent your rival companies from taking the same route.
How To Protect Your Business Idea From Being Stolen
Think of some top-selling apps of all time like – Instagram, Angry Birds or Vine. The brand recognition of these apps is just amazing. You can easily identify these materials with the fonts used, the logo and even the typical colors used for branding. Also, in many cases, a company name is associated with your application. Rovio in the case of Angry Birds is one of the companies, which is recognized far and wide because of its popular gaming app. Get a kiss from them and protect your app name and logo from being counterfeited by your competitors by opting for a trademark.
The best thing about trademarks is that they don’t let your competitors create copies of your products with funny names or descriptions and other points to trick your potential customers into buying. their products instead of yours. It also offers additional protection against potential lawsuits or legal issues.
For a few hundred bucks, you can legally trademark your app name and brand. There are many lawyers and legal consultants, who know all the tricks of the trade and can be easily guided.
Know the people with whom you do business. Find out if they have a reputation of having worked with similar clients in the past or have earned goodwill in the market through their work ethic. It’s easy to quickly do a background check on your potential investor, client, contractor or even developer before you even make an appointment with them. Remember, you will be working in close quarters with many of these people and it is important that you only choose people you trust, who will not leak information related to your project or simply give away advice in good day
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At the end of the day, it is up to you to decide how much information you want to disclose to the people you work with.
Put each and everything to do with your app in writing. Save all the documents related to it, however small it may be. This will give you the upper hand when it comes to proving your position in a court of law. Document the application code, your brainstorming session, minutes of formal or in-person meetings with your advisors, templates, final paper, etc.
For example, keep track of each and every conversation you’ve had with anyone related to the app either through instant messages or email threads. This will be useful if and when you find that information from these communications has been leaked and you will be able to have substantial evidence to support your position.
Once your app is ready to launch on the market (read app stores), you still have to be careful with it. Beware of allowing different app development companies to upload app from their account. Instead, set up your own account and use it to upload the app to various online app stores. Another would be to register an account in your name with all your details and give temporary access to companies that work for you. When the app is uploaded, change the access rights. Easy!
Someone Stole Your Business Idea? Here’s How To Succeed Anyway
Don’t lose sleep over the fact that your app idea can easily be stolen by your competitors. Take the right steps and you’ll be good to go. Even if your app is so good that it beats out a number of similar apps, cleverly disguised as new and innovative apps, you can still make sure you stay ahead of the game. What you can do is just release the base version
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