Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
This quote depicts the relevance of an idea. Especially when looked at from the business perspective, an idea is indeed a million-dollar deal, to say the least. In this article; I will however not be discussing why ideas are relevant. Here I will discuss in detail the strategies that need to be followed for protecting these priceless gems.
So without much ado; let’s begin.
Today, one of the biggest revolutions that businesses are starting to incorporate are mobile apps. As a result of the presence of these solutions, it becomes easier for businesses to grow their visibility online. Simultaneously, it allows them to conveniently educate customers on the services they provide, and so on. This in turn allows them to grow a wider customer base, and make more revenues.
However, it becomes important to add here, that regardless of the value that a mobile app has, it is equally necessary that entrepreneurs also place their focus on protecting their idea. This means they need to ensure that the app they are creating and the idea they have behind the app do not go into the wrong hands.
This is where it becomes necessary to patent a mobile app idea.
What Does Patent a Mobile App Idea Mean?
When I say ‘patent a mobile app idea’; what I want to suggest is that the idea going behind creating the app, or the strategies and techniques that get utilized too, are not slipped away into the wrong hands.
Therefore, the basic definition of a patent is the same as intellectual property law. This law goes into ensuring that the plans of an entrepreneur are protected and not misused. When I now talk about patenting an app idea, it suggests the creation of certain terms and conditions. These would keep the idea behind the app protected first. Second, it would ensure the prevention of the app from being used for any illegal or non-consensual purposes. Finally, it will ensure that no company or individual would be able to sell or change the app idea.
So now that you have understood what it means to patent a mobile app idea; it is now important to understand the reasons why it is important to do so in the first place.
Reasons Why You Need to Patent Your Mobile App Idea
- Protects your app from being copied, manufactured, sold, or imported without your consent.
- Will keep your app safe from the hindsight of competitors.
- Ensures you remain the owner of the app idea, no matter what.
- Funding and ROI remain ongoing.
Looking at all these reasons above; it, therefore, becomes clear that as someone who is starting new in this game, they need to ensure that their idea of a particular app remains their own. It thus becomes critical to patent it.
Now it is also important to understand that irrespective of the importance that patenting an app idea has; it is equally relevant to understand the criteria for being eligible to get your app idea patented.
In other words, it is important to understand the situations under which you can be satisfied that you can patent your app idea.
To make this easy for you to understand, I have listed the same below.
Eligibility Criteria to Determine If You Can Patent Your Mobile App Idea
Three prime criteria go behind understanding the eligibility for your app idea to be patented.
This includes answering the following questions:
- Is your app an invention?
- Is the idea unique and innovative?
- Is your app idea useful?
Once you have a green tick across all these areas: in other words when you are aware that your app is successful in fixing different customer issues, followed by being extremely unique, and finally if you can validate through your app description that your solution will be useful, you can then determine and go ahead with patenting your app idea.
To perform this action, you need to follow the steps listed below. These will help you to a great extent in keeping your app idea your own and ensuring your competitors do not get knowledge on your solution at all.
Continue reading to understand the same.
How to Patent an App Idea?
- Connect with a patent attorney. This is the initial and most vital step you need to follow. It is recommended to get in touch with someone having a good amount of experience in this field. However, look at their budget too.
- Bring app idea into actuality. In other words, create a prototype of your app. This will help you to seamlessly document the entire mobile app development process, followed by making it easy for you to explain the overall workflow of the app.
- Get connected to a lawyer who is proficient in conducting a global search for apps that are similar to the app you have created.
- File the Patent App and Understand If It Is Provisional or Non-Provisional. This is another very important step that goes behind when you want to patent a mobile app idea. Take, for instance, if you file a provisional patent mobile app; you get the flexibility to save on costs tremendously, especially while going into preparing the app. However, when you file a non-provisional one, you may not require to file any claim, mention any app reference, and so on. It becomes important thus to give a full description of the app and a claim to define it.
After you have completed all these steps, you enter the final stage. This is filing your patent.
To perform this action, keep these documents listed below handy.
Documents You Need While You Patent a Mobile App Idea
- Information Disclosure Statement
- Cover Sheet
- App Specification
- Fee Sheet
- Entity Status Form
- Application Data Sheet
Once you have all these in check, you are ready to go. In other words, you can now go ahead and file your patent with the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office). This will keep your app idea protected and ensure you remain the sole owner of this idea.
Alternatively, log in to the site mentioned above (USPTO) or the Google patents site. Once you have performed this task, type in the appropriate keywords related to your app idea. This will educate you on the different patents filed and understand if the idea is already patented or not.
Entrepreneurs in the current digital age struggle behind understanding if their creation can propel their business ahead. This has subsequently encouraged them to incorporate and include mobile apps into their daily operations.
It is important to note here; that having an innovative solution is not enough. It is equally relevant to keep the idea of the app protected. In other words, positioning focus on filing a patent. Regardless of the time and cost; performing this action will fulfill two main aspects-
- Ensure you remain the sole custodian of your ideas.
- Protect your app from the competitor’s hindsight.
Therefore, if you are still thinking about the necessity of patenting your app idea, I am sure the article has helped you understand its relevance and advantages.