Creating an app is a fun process that could potentially make you a lot of money. After all, people rely on apps for most things they do in their lives. There truly is an app for everything, so why not get in on the action? Of course, if you have an awesome app idea, it’s important to protect it. You’re not the only one thinking of cashing in on your creativity. Other people may think your idea is amazing, too, which may lead them to patent it themselves. That’s why you need to take measurements to protect your app idea from falling into the wrong hands.
1. Opt For A Provisional Patent
Some people don’t find it worth it to invest in a full patent just yet. After all, no one wants to do all the paperwork if they absolutely don’t have to. You don’t even know if you’ll go through with your app yet, or how it will all work out, so it might even be considered rash to file for a full patent immediately. Of course, this in no way means you should start doing business unprotected.
That’s why a provisional patent might be a lifesaver. This is a temporary patent which will protect your idea for a year. Use this year to figure out exactly what your next steps are going to be and start developing your app. It will buy you enough time to figure out what to do and stand on firm ground before you decide whether you’re going to pursue this idea until the end or not.
2. Get To Work
The sooner you turn your idea into something concrete, you’ll be able to copyright it. If you’ve opted for a provisional patent, don’t waste your time. As soon as your app is developed , the copyrights can be released by third parties and everything down to the code will be protected. This means no one can touch you or reverse engineer your code.
Beware of knock-offs, though. If your app is good, you’re bound to see them even though your app will be public and widely available. This is why it’s a good idea to protect parts of the process and ideas as well as not to release the full version right away. Roll out new features regularly, as the knock-offs won’t be able to keep up.
3. Be Careful Who You Share The Information With
The fewer people know about your app idea, the less chance there is of it being stolen. Only a few confidants should be let in on the information and that’s only because they’re needed for the process to develop. It’s not even advisable letting your friends and family know. They might not do anything on purpose, but opening their mouths at the wrong place at the wrong time can end up costing you a lot.
To ensure the silence of your associates, you can also opt for a non-disclosure agreement. This way, if worse comes to worst, you’ll have proof that everything was supposed to be on the down low. In turn, you’re protected from losing everything you worked for because you put your trust in the wrong person.
4. Trademark Your Idea
Trademarking your idea is a great way to have written documentation that your idea is really yours. If anyone tries to steal it, you’ll have instant proof that you came up with it first. You can trademark anything from icons and logos to parts of the process essential from turning your idea into reality. Of course, most countries require you to do a thorough search of trademarks before you file out the paperwork.
It’s easy to conduct a trademark search in Australia and other first world countries because there is an online query already created. All you have to do is type in the name and see if someone’s already got dibs on your idea. The process of trademarking can often be rather tiresome which is why the proper search is mandatory. You don’t want to go through all that trouble only to find out someone already beat you to it.
5. Get A Non-compete Agreement
Even though a non-disclosure agreement will work just fine in most cases, you can opt for extra security measurements. If you’re scared the people working for you will work on the same thing with a rival company and sell you out, get a non-compete agreement. With these agreements, you directly protect your idea by not allowing your employees to work with a competitor.
Of course, it might be difficult to get people to sign it if they’ve already signed non-disclosure agreements. This is simply because of another clause of such an agreement. It prevents the professional from working on any other project with another firm, too. In fact, all future projects are off the table as well. Your developers and employees might not see it as worth it to stick with only you and your ideas, so you’ll have to think this one through carefully.
As you can see, it’s not impossible to protect your app idea. All you’ll need to do is invest some time, money, and patience. It will all be worth it when the idea is officially yours and you can do whatever you want with it. You can move on to the next part of creating and perfecting without any fear or doubt. Before you know it, the payday you’re waiting for will be at your fingertips.