Being an app entrepreneur isn’t easy. There is far too lot that you need to know – apart from choosing the right app developer! For instance, knowing about Intellectual Property Rights! The app that you make is your intellectual property – when you submit your app to the different app markets them automatically protect your app.
Why Do You Need IPRs?
IPRs protect your work from being infringed and copied or used without your permission. Hence, it is also important that you take care that you are not violating any IPRs while developing an app – another prerequisite to choose a good app developer.
So What Are These Different IPRs?
Copyright is the legal right granted to the author or creator of any literary, dramatic or artistic piece of work. It is the right to protect your creations and control their usage by others. As soon as you create your piece of work and put it in a tangible form, it is automatically protected by copyright.
Before you publish your app make sure that none of your content is infringing the copyright law. Make sure all the pictures, graphics and music you use is absolutely original. If you must use work designed by other you must take permission before hand.
It is advisable that you check your app minutely before publishing it. And also use the copyright symbol on all your work and watermark your pictures.
A trademark is the brand identification that identifies a product and distinguishes it from others. Google play and iStore both prohibits trademark infringement. If the trademark law is broken, it leads to direct suspension of the app and a heavy fine.
Trademarks are of two types – normal trademark and registered trademark. You may have notice the TM or the R symbols below a brand name – TM stands for trademark and R for registered trademark.
So why register your trademark when you can protect your brand name without the hassle of registering?
Think of it as a safeguard. In case of infringement, if your trademark is registered, you will get the benefit of doubt and stronger actions will be taken against people infringing it.
In What Ways Can You Be Infringing A Trademark?
If you use a name that is very similar to an already existing app name you will be infringing the trademark law. You cannot also use an already existing logo with minor changes. For example, if you create an app called “truercaller”(which sounds similar to the popular app true caller) and use the same logo in a darker shade of blue you will be infringing the trademark law.
A common mistake that most app developers make is that they use a brand name or a trademark without permission. You should not only inform the owners unofficially but also need to get a proper permission from them.
The author or developer is given the right to prohibit others to use or export the original work. If you really think your app has what it takes and is extremely popular, you may want to consider getting your work patented as you can make a major profit out of it plus you will get your credibility where it is due. Plus, in the case of patents, you may have to get your work patented in different countries.