Mobile app development involves several steps. The most crucial and basic one is creating an app concept. If you’ve got amazing mobile app ideas and would like to secure the app so that it’s not taken or copied by other people, you can maybe patent the idea.
What are patents for mobile apps?
Simply stated, a patent is an act of intellectual property that shields your idea from misuse that is not authorized or consented to It also prohibits other companies or individuals from modifying or selling the idea and also ensures that no one is able can claim that they can make money from your invention.
Thus, a mobile app includes a variety of interactive elements that can be patentable. But, you are not able to patent the app’s code since the law governing it is categorized and protected under copyright. Instead, you can patent the method or process your app employs to accomplish specific tasks.
What are the reasons and when should you Request Patents?
Your idea for an app is a result of your imagination and unique thinking skills. If you didn’t offer any legal protection for your idea, any other businesses or individuals could utilize it without being scrutinized. Does that sound right to you?
To secure intellectual property rights over your application concept, you have to apply for a patent. This legal document gives you a legal right to your concept and allows you to seek reimbursement from any entity with attempts to violate the current laws on patents. In addition, you’ll be legally able to accuse each clone that is a copy of your original application that was created before the app is even that is in the process of development. Patents also allow you to demonstrate the exclusivity and originality of your application concept and ensure that no third party can profit from it.
When it comes to the “when” part it is recommended to submit a patent application before divulging the essential details of the application. The reason is that the person who patents will be believed to be the one who claimed it first, not the one who came up with the idea. It also allows you to analyze the various app functions in different industries, d gives you suggestions for other elements that are eligible to be patented.
How to Create A Mobile App
Exercise Patent Search
As you have probably already understood, prevention is always preferable to treatment. Instead of dealing with any unanticipated incidents shortly, it’s always best to make a second step to make sure that everything is properly and accurately completed. Instead of conducting the research, employ an expert who will conduct an exhaustive search for applications that are similar to yours or that have the same features or functions. It may require a few more dollars but it can assist in ensuring that your patent is granted the most extensive scope of approval.
Make a Provisional or Non-Provisional Patent Application
There are two kinds of patent applications you can use both provisional and non-provisional. In a provisional application, you can file without a formal patent claim, declaration, or even a data disclosure statement. Additionally, it offers certain advantages- it permits users to use the phrase “Patent Pending” in the application and considers 12 months as the time frame for preparing the MVP, and is also less expensive than applications that are not provisional.
If you file a non-provisional or non-provisional application you can file without a claim based on the application made in the country of the convention or without a reference to the app that is included in the application. It must contain a complete specification and claim, which includes an explanation in writing of the invention as well as an assertion that legally defines the legal definition.
In deciding on the form of patent application you must take into consideration how long you wish to put off the patent costs for the text and how fast you’d like your patent granted.
Submit Your Patent Application
This is the last stage of the process of submitting a patent. Once you have completed the steps above and prepared your patent applications, you need to submit them to the USPTO. This is a lengthy process that requires many documents.
The Documents Required for the Application of A Mobile App Patent?
The essential documents that you require to submit your application are listed below. You must make sure that all documents are prepared carefully before you start to easily and swiftly finish an application.
- Oath, Declaration, or Declaration
- Data Disclosure Statement
- Entity Status Form
- Application Data Sheet
- Patent Cooperation Treaty (Optional and for International Filings)
- Cover Sheet
- Fee Sheet
- Application to Create Special (Optional)
What is the cost Of a Patent A Mobile App?
The cost of patenting an app differs depending on the type of application that you submit. You can consult the USPTO list to find out more about the exact cost. Here are some of the most basic costs you have to pay when filing for a patent application.
- Basic filing fee $70-$280 plus
- Patent fee for search $150-$600
- Patent examination fee $180-$700
- 3.5-year maintenance fee of $400 to $1600
- 7.5 years maintenance cost $900-3600
- 11.5 years maintenance cost $1850 to $7000+
Additionally, an approximate price for patent filing could be between $2000-$5000 in preliminary patent applications, and $10000 and $15000 for non-provisional applications.
How Long Will It Take to Have The App You Want to Patent? Mobile App Patented?
As obtaining an app patent can be a tiring and stressful task The majority of the time applications are denied and then submitted until it’s ready to be approved. This process can take anywhere from 4 to 6 years depending on the specific conditions that each one of the applications has. It is therefore crucial to make sure the application you submit is as exact and as perfect as possible should you want to be approved faster.
What are the requirements to be a patent holder?
There are three primary prerequisites for an app to be eligible for patent protection. They are as follows.
There must be an Invention
The primary and most essential criterion for an app’s eligibility for patent protection is that it is an invention. More than just the idea of a person, it has to be distinct, distinctive distinct features that allow it to be that is unique to the market. It also implies that it’s the first time it’s been made accessible to the public and has not been utilized until now.
If you can prove that your idea for your app is an original idea the app will become patented, allowing you to stop other people from using your app and earning money out of the app.
The Invention must be unique
The other requirement for an application to be considered patentable is that it is unique and innovative. A patentable invention demands creativity and ingenuity. With your unique skills and ideas, you can create an app concept that hasn’t been tried before, and must be that is unique and positive.
The idea is that you have to declare this idea for yourself and to do that you have to use your imagination and creativity to the maximum extent possible. If you copied an already-known and widely available idea, it doesn’t give you the ability to claim the idea as your own. A new invention should be original as well as fresh and original.
The invention must be useful
However innovative and unique you’re ideas if it doesn’t positively affect society and it isn’t worthy of consideration. Your new concept should in some way be the right thing for society in general and should not create harm. Similar to how online shopping websites offer convenience to customers by permitting them to shop at home and also how messaging apps such as WhatsApp connect people from all over the world without any additional costs Your app’s concept should create a sense of belonging and friendship.
If your application idea meets these three conditions You can proceed and file a patent application to ensure that your ideas and hard work are appreciated and not abused by other people.
The Alternatives to Applicant Patents
After you have learned the basics of patents for apps and the steps and procedures required for the process, you’ll be considering whether there are other methods that you could use to safeguard your app’s ideas. In reality, yes. Here are a few great alternatives for patents on apps.
Copyright for mobile apps is an IPR like a patent but with a few distinctions. It is a set of right issues granted to the creator or inventor of any piece of work, regardless of whether it is an educational, artistic, liter, art, or musical program that permits users to reproduce or publish their work, as well as make derivatives or other derivative works, etc. regardless whether the work has been published or not.
As opposed to patents, copyright safeguards the idea’s expression instead of an idea in itself. Thus, you can copyright the logo of your app, but, not the app as an entire thing since it doesn’t cover any concepts, facts, or operating methods.
A patent prevents other people from selling or making the invention protected trademarks protect the words, phrases, symbols, logos, as well as other devices which indicate the products and services of the proprietor. Thus, you can trademark your logo for your app so that nobody else can use the same logo to confuse your customers and make money from it.
NDA (Non-Disclosure agreements)
NDA is a legal document that is signed by the companies with who you collaborate in conjunction for your work. An example of such a person is the company that develops mobile apps that you work with. The NDA legally binds both parties to keep the idea and the technical aspects private. This also protects the concept from being used by anyone outside.
The Most Patented Apps To Be Patented In 2022
Any business that has patent-worthy processes or features must seek a patent. This would grant them the authority to do so and specific rights over their products. To illustrate below are some well-known companies that have patents on their apps in different ways. These examples will help you know how to recognize and classify patent-worthy elements of the application.
Recently, Google patented its improved drag-and-drop feature that is available for a wide range of mobile app development. Google employed the technique of patenting a specific user-facing interface feature instead of the entire app to secure the invention which will be most likely to be utilized by other applications during the duration of the patent.
This patent technique shows that we don’t have to patent a whole application but rather, a specific invention that is incorporated into it.
Contrary to Google and other patents, Zillow’s patent covers the entire idea of the app instead of just a part of it. The patent covers everything including the backend computation to the display of the created panorama view within the GUI. The patent method provides security for the entire software.
Like Google, Facebook also patented it as a component of its mobile app, not the application as a whole. This patent describes a network design to implement secure ID access to the application. In this case, Facebook protects a backend feature that can be used across a range of applications, but it could not be seen by the ordinary user.
How Can You Tell if your app idea is Already Patented by Someone else?
We’ve discussed our unique app concepts and patents on this blog and have secured these patents. Have you thought about whether the unique ideas you have created have already been patented by another person? That’s a challenge. So, to make sure that no one else has already patented your mobile application idea, you should do a thorough study of each app idea you associate with it that is under consideration or being sold. You can access the archived information in the database that operates in your country or state for the same purpose. You can also analyze information related to various international patents by using this IPC Catchword Index of WIPO.
6 Reasons You Should Not Apply For A Patent for Your App
After we’ve reviewed the various reasons to file for a patent and the benefits it can be for your mobile app concept Let’s examine some of the reasons why you should not submit a patent application for your application. Here are some advantages or negatives of patenting your mobile app development services.
Patenting your idea when you discover an innovative idea or idea is perhaps a bit quick. It is important to think about the concept, and then analyze its effects of it to fully comprehend the significance of the concept and determine if it is worthy of protection from patents.
Patent applications require that you make certain details of your invention available. But keeping your invention secret is a better method to keep your competition from gaining access to your invention.
Before you submit an invention patent, you’ll need to consider the reason you would like to protect this idea. There can be valid grounds for doing so. But, if the concept has the potential to create a buzz among people, then the interest of people is likely to diminish by the time the patent is granted. In that scenario, it’s much better to utilize the time and money to fund more efficient processes such as marketing.
Patent applications can be a long and tedious procedure that can take anywhere from four to six years before it is accepted. During this time the market may shift, or the technology could outstrip your invention once your patent is granted.
Patenting your app idea can cost you a substantial amount of money, regardless of whether it is a success or failure. The application search is for patents already granted and patent attorney’s fees could all add up to a substantial amount of expenditure. The profits potential should far outweigh the time effort and expense that is spent to obtain and maintain the patent. If this isn’t the case, it’s best to not patent it.
Infringer prosecution is expensive which is why you should be financially able and be prepared for the defense of your invention.
To conclude, yes, you can patent your mobile app. But, the process of patenting an application is dependent on the requirements of your business and other aspects. For instance, it is possible to file a patent is vital for a company focused on mobile app development for enterprises however it may not be relevant for other applications. With all the details that we have provided, it’s time to determine whether you’d like to patent your mobile application. If you feel it’s necessary, we suggest that you hire a professional and knowledgeable patent attorney to help you navigate.
I am a Tech geek and blogger, a seasoned freelancer, and my hobby is to enlighten my views and skills that will helpful for new inductions of the industry.