Developing a popular mobile app for Android or iOS integrated devices is something that most developers dream of.
But is there a way to make sure that your intellectual property is protected along the way, and is this type of software even protectable under today’s patent laws? Before delving into the specifics, it’s best to help you first understand just what a patent can protect.
A patent is something considered to be a “negative right” in that it gives you the right to exclude others from making, using or selling your innovation. While it offers you legal protection against infringement by others, this protection does not necessarily protect you from assertions of patent infringement by other patent holders.
Having a patent issued does offer you an abundance of legal remedies, in the event that your idea is stolen. Also, patents are a form of intellectual property that can be licensed or sold.But before you decide if you need one, here are a few things to consider.
Search for Existing Patents
Patents on technology are more scrutinized if they are entering a cluttered market. If similar technologies already exist, there’s a good chance that there may be related patents. Your best first step is to call a patent attorney to see if a patent search is warranted.A preliminary search can help you determine what parts of your invention are patentable, and whether it is advisable to pursue patent protection.
Determine If Your Software App Has a Patentable Innovation
Does the software you are making qualify for a patent? While qualified legal counsel, such as an experienced patent attorney, can help you better determine this answer, it’s always smart to ask yourself the following questions:
Why do you need to protect your software?
Do you plan on marketing your app yourself or license others to monetize your invention?
Does it make more sense to spend money building your business than seeking a patent? (realizing the public disclosure of your invention before filing a patent application can lead to loss of patent rights)
Are you prepared to wait the average two to five years it takes to get a patent issued?
Can your product be protected by other forms of intellectual property, such as copyright, trademark and trade secret law?
Consult with a Software Patent Attorney
Can apps be patented? The simple answer is that most innovations that are new, useful and non-obvious and not directed to an abstract idea or law of nature are patentable.The best first step that you can take is to seek a consultation with an experienced software patent attorney.
At TIPS Group, we specialized in helping tech entrepreneurs and developers get the credible legal advice they need on software patents and a wide array of technology related legal affairs. Our experienced attorneys can provide real world advice for your situation. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost initial consultation at: 1-888-818-5481.