You have the option of patenting or copyrighting your mobile app concept, as well as trademarking it. You may avoid having your app concept stolen if you do it in this manner. To protect others from stealing your app idea, many company owners and entrepreneurs have already trademarked or registered their mobile app concepts. 

Furthermore, you should make certain that your app concept is unique and original; otherwise, all of your hard work will be for nothing if it is too similar to another app. The entire process of patenting an idea for a mobile app looks difficult and lengthy. Therefore, we have compiled this article where we will be discussing everything needed to know for how to patent an app idea. 

So, let’s dive into the details of how to patent an app idea!

Can You Patent An App?

Yes, you may patent app idea since it is an element that can be interacted using a variety of ways. The app code cannot be patented since it falls within the legal category of copyrights, which prohibits patenting. In this case, you may be able to patent the method or technique that the app follows while completing a given activity. So, the simple answer to the question can you get a patent for an app is a yes. 

What Is A Patent App?

A patent is a term that you may have come across in your everyday life several times. Despite this, only a small percentage of the population understands what it means. Any person or corporation that invents anything is allowed the right to protect their invention from anybody who would duplicate, sell, or steal their product or concept by granting them complete control over the process of protecting their product or idea via the use of patents. 

An analogous situation exists in the case of mobile application concepts. A mobile patent is something that you can get if you believe that your app concept is unique and disruptive, and you believe that there is a possibility that others would steal or replicate your idea. 

A mobile patent is a kind of intellectual property right that is protected under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s intellectual property rights. Patenting an app concept gives you the legal right to protect your app idea, and anybody wishing to utilise your app idea will need your permission before they can do so. 

As a result, a mobile patent is a kind of intellectual property legislation that allows you to:

  • Prevents your app concept from being used without your permission
  • The use of it or the sale of it is prohibited by any corporation or person
  • No one else may claim earnings or credit for your app concept other than you and your team

Generally speaking, there are two types of a patent app idea that may be used to protect mobile app concepts. They are:

Utility Patents: Utility patents are the most often seen kind of patent. They are awarded to processes and machines as a result of legislative action.

Design Patents: Design patents are used to protect any kind of distinctive design of different produced goods, including but not limited to furniture.

Types Of Patent Applications

Patent Applications are classified into two categories:

  • Provisional Patent For An App

These patent applications are more common and often used than the other two patent types mentioned above. Provisional applications provide you with the ability to seek a patent regardless of whether or not you have made a formal claim to an invention, or whether or not you have made associated declarations and relevant statements about information disclosure. They are comprised of the following characteristics:

  • Make a big deal about the fact that your product is official “patent pending”
  • Invest a total of twelve months in critically developing and altering your original concept.
  • Attempt to get worldwide patents by submitting the relevant paperwork.
  • Expenses are lower than those associated with non-provisional patents.
  • Non-Provisional Patent For An App

These two applications are opposed to one another. No need to seek priority or references relating to employment in your home country if you submit them in your home country. 

To be successful in your patent application, you must provide comprehensive specifications and demands, such as a full and outlined description of your original work on paper, as well as at least one claim that illustrates the bounds of your unique work in a legal vein.

It is necessary to employ a reputable patent attorney to determine which patent is most appropriate. In addition, she or he can assist you in understanding the many available application methods.

Benefits Of Patenting An Idea

Your app concept authorises safety in the context of being your one-of-a-kind intellectual property. As the owner of an official patent, you will have the legal authority to sue anybody who tries to infringe on current patent laws and demand compensation.

The following are the reasons that will demonstrate to you why it is critical to patent mobile application ideas:

  • You have the legal right to charge any clone of your software that is released before or during the lineup.
  • In addition, a patent legally establishes the originality and one-of-a-kindness of your mobile app concept.
  • No one can financially devastate your mobile app concept.

How To Check Whether Your App Idea Is Already Patented Or Not?

There is no way to be under the false notion that your app concept is unique and inventive unless and until you can provide evidence to support this claim. As there are millions of individuals out there who are entrepreneurs or enthusiasts who are dedicatedly striving to come up with innovative app concepts, finding one that stands out from the crowd is not difficult. 

There is a possibility that they have previously registered the app concept that you are now contemplating submitting to them. The most straightforward method to resolve any ambiguity is to determine whether or not your app concept has previously been patented by someone else. 

You must look for your mobile app concept in the list of existing and pending patents before moving further with it. You must do a comprehensive study for this; otherwise, you may be under the erroneous notion and find yourself amid a legal battle against someone else. 

Regardless of the nation that you are in, they will have a working database that has a full list of all of the patents that are currently listed or pending in that country. You may use it to check for potential app ideas. If your app concept has already been copyrighted by someone else, there is no longer any need to bury your head in the sand. 

Your job will be to thoroughly research the current patent and determine what you can do to make it unique. Just don’t give up hope, since there may be several methods in which you may make improvements to the current patent or improve it with your original concept.

Requirements To Patent An App Idea

In general, the patentability of a mobile application idea is determined by three key considerations. The following are the three most important considerations in determining whether or not your patent application is eligible:

  • App Idea Must Be Innovation

Patents are often used to protect new inventions. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, a patent is “an innovation that is defined as a solution to any issue” that has been developed (WIPO).

Because the app notion does not exist as a physical object, the app technique is considered an invention. The approach, like any other invention, must, however, address any issues that occur as a result of its use.

  • App Idea Must Be Unique

Just because an app idea answers a user issue does not imply that the concept itself is patentable. Your app idea must be unique and different from the others. Or, to put it another way, your app idea has not been previously revealed in a public manner, such as books, pending patent application documents, blog posts, YouTube videos, or any other medium.

Furthermore, it must be novel and not already be protected by a patent; otherwise, you will be unable to seek protection under the law. In the case of an app comparable to Uber, which addresses a problem for thousands of people by enabling them to book rides with just a few clicks, but which is a clone of Uber, you will not be able to patent it since it is a copycat of Uber.

  • Must Be Beneficial To Everyone

Finally, the patent must be of practical value. However, this does not rule out the chance that your software may fall into the category of being entertaining in some way. Essentially, it means that your application must at the very least be functional in theory.

It is because of this restriction that individuals are prevented from patenting software that is not as beneficial as it should be. Therefore, to assert control over the application, it is necessary to establish a specific and complete explanation of how it operates.

Another important criterion that you must complete on your own is to ensure that you are the first to patent a certain idea. This is something you must do yourself.

Process Of How To Patent An App Idea

It is now time to learn about the stages involved in patenting a mobile application for individuals who are new to this subject. If you are already aware of the notion of patenting a mobile application, its prerequisites, and all of the regulations that apply to it, the process is rather straightforward.

1. Consult With A Patent Attorney

Once you have completed the process of obtaining total ownership and inventorship of your mobile app concept, as well as researching all of the current comparable mobile applications in the market, it is time to choose a qualified patent attorney to represent you. 

This is a very important procedure, and you should not pick the first attorney who comes your way or who appears in a Google search result. The search for the selection of a patent attorney who can successfully assist you through the legal processes is a time-consuming process that requires thorough research. 

The only explanation for this is that you are not familiar with all of the legal words, procedures, and laws in effect. As a result, the patent attorney you engage must be both professional and versatile to make the procedure as simple as possible.

2. Disclosure Of Mobile App Innovation

Getting a revolutionary mobile app concept off the ground was just half of the battle, and the second part is yet to begin. After retaining the services of an experienced patent attorney, it is now time to publicly declare your mobile app idea, which is quite important.

Getting your patent authorised by the court requires demonstrating to them that your invention is practicable, reasonable, and something that meets all of the eligibility conditions. Before providing concrete evidence of your innovation to a court of law, you must record the whole development process, including flow charts, or even build a prototype if you need to demonstrate the feasibility of your concept. 

You should also be aware that the development code or procedure isn’t necessary in most cases. The functionality that your mobile app concept provides is the item that is protected by patent protection. Create an accurate diagram of your mobile app concept to make things easier for the patent attorney. 

You may supply him with a thorough flowchart so that he can grasp the precise capability that is being supplied as well as its specifics and limitations. Information, procedures, and data must be shown in this flowchart in its entirety, as well as the overall functional flow.

3. Exercise Patent Search

Even though you may have completed all of your research for comparable mobile applications and patents on your own, the research that an attorney does is professional and very valuable. In the course of doing the patent search, your attorney searches for applications with comparable functionality or flows around the globe to prevent any future conflicts with any person or organisation. 

This patent search will help to guarantee that your patent is authorised as soon as possible.

You should also assist your attorney by providing him or her with the research list that you have created for them. It should include all of the applications that have even a single feature in common with one another.

4. Filing Of Patent Application

It is entirely dependent on the kind of innovation, market size, solution space, and other factors whether a provisional or non-provisional patent application is filed. There are a variety of additional considerations to consider when considering whether to file a provisional or non-provisional patent application.

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Let us examine the procedure for submitting both sorts of applications.

  • Provisional Application

By submitting a provisional application, you may ensure that your patent application will be filed on time. Furthermore, it is far less expensive than submitting a non-provisional application and requires significantly less labour. Among the things you’ll need to offer are:

  • Thorough explanation of your application
  • Drawings and flowcharts are used to ensure that there is no misunderstanding.

It is possible to get a filing date and receive one year to do research and determine whether or not your mobile application will be successful using this method. In the patent filing world, being “first to file” is critical, and getting a filing date is a win-win situation, even if the application is still pending.

  • Non-Provisional Application

To keep your filing date, you must submit a non-provisional or regular application within one year after filing your non-provisional application. Otherwise, you will lose your filing date. The stages involved in filing a non-provisional application are as follows:

  • Specification

These are utilised to illustrate the distinctiveness of your mobile app concept. For everyone to comprehend the originality of your application, make certain that the specs are explicit enough. 

There are four parts to the specifications: a concise and correct title, a Background that describes the backdrop of your invention and offers supporting hypotheses, a Summary that provides an overview of your application, and a detailed description of your invention.

  • Claims

This is the most contentious element of the procedure, and it must be executed flawlessly to be successful. If you want to legally claim ownership of your mobile app concept, you must explicitly define which components of it you want to claim ownership of. 

  • Drawings

If your programme has any visual interfaces, you should provide accompanying drawings to go along with them. If you have any questions about adding drawings or figures, you may simply refer to any comparable patents that have been filed in the past. You must provide visual representations in the form of drawings, figures, or flowcharts to support the app concept and prevent misunderstanding.

5. Submit Your Patent Application

The most critical stage of the whole procedure has now been reached. The submission of a patent application is the last and most important stage in the process of submitting a patent application. You must now submit your application after ensuring that you have followed all of the previous stages accurately.

For those who are unfamiliar with the procedure, it is entirely paper-based and quite time-consuming. The only choice available to you is to focus your whole attention on it.

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Drawbacks Of Patenting An App Idea

Even while patenting is designed to seem to be important, it is not obligatory for every application. Let us go through some of the concerns that you should be aware of if you are considering pursuing a patent for a mobile app:

  • Prevents Accessing Critical Resources

Startups must be mindful of the stifling implications that patents have on their ability to access personal and corporate resources and resources. These are some examples:

Cost: The average cost of submitting a patent in the three-to-five-year period is $30,000. When combined with legal fees, this may cause financial hardship for companies, causing them to go into the red zone on their profit and loss accounts.

Time: A significant amount of time is required for the patent application procedure, which may take many months or even years in certain cases. Allocating this bandwidth necessitates devoting a significant amount of time and energy away from the implementation of the app concept.

  • Unassured Protection

The situations of patent infringement are quite precise. As a result, even the most restrictive agreement may not be able to provide you with the protection you want in the event of a violation. A lot of businesses are experiencing troubles with rip-offs that make minor modifications to the software to make it seem to be completely different.

  • Change Of Mission And Vision For Startups

It is quite normal for a company to alter its mission and vision. The issue that arises is that patents tend to protect just the original level of innovations, rather than the subsequent iterations of such ideas. Consequently, every time a business pivots or merely updates its application, it would be necessary to submit a new patent application.

Our Final Take On How To Patent An App Idea

Utility patents may indeed aid in certain circumstances, but until and until you have come up with a completely new method of doing things or have come up with a new utilisation of gadgets it makes zero sense to obstruct or waste your resources in that area.

The laborious procedure of securing a patent doesn’t simply end up being a bottleneck in the product-market fit but also slows down the agile development process. We hope this article on how to patent an app idea helped you to decide whether you should go for it or not!