Return to: Legal News

Protecting intellectual property for Apps

There are millions of apps and hundreds of thousands are launched every year. Some of them have gone on to be huge successes and are used by millions every day. Some of them are so ubiquitous that we don't even imagine modern life without using them. Just think about Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram – who doesn't use these apps?

The app market is immense – there are more than 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, and the market is expected to reach about $120 billion. As the world becomes more globalized and connected by the internet, apps are becoming more important for companies that want to interact with their customers.

Apps are here to stay and every company will try to launch their own app. But what are the legal aspects that you must consider before and after launching an app? How can you protect the intellectual property you use in the app? How can intellectual property law in Miami shape your decisions? What do you need to know about protecting intellectual property in Miami? This guide will try to answer these questions:

#1 – Get a non-disclosure agreement

Creating an app is not a one-man job – you'll need a professional team of developers, marketers, and designers to launch even a small, basic app. You will also need a business plan and an audience study, among many others, in order to be somewhat successful. Okay, there are a lot of people working before launching an app – but how can you make sure they keep the project and its details confidential? How do you make sure your idea is not stolen?

The best way to get full legal protection is to sign a non-disclosure agreement before the project starts. The agreement is the core legal document that offers you protection in case something bad happens. It's essentially a contract between two parties that controls how the information is shared between them. The great advantage of a non-disclosure agreement is that you have peace of mind that your idea or trade secret will be kept confidential no matter what.

#2 – Start developing the app

Everyone can have an amazing app idea – the difficult task is to implement the idea and make it work, effective and enjoyable. As soon as you have any code written down, no one should be able to steal it from you. The copyright law automatically protects the code, so you are safe. As soon as you have the idea, start writing the code – this way, you will get automatic copyright protection. If you want to learn more about intellectual property law in Miami, make sure to work with an excellent intellectual property attorney.

#3 – Register a trademark for your app's name and logo

Just browse through your app store... You'll notice that there are dozens of clones, especially for the apps which are very popular. All of these clones are illegal, as they are infringing trademark and copyright laws. If your app is protected by these laws, it's fairly easy to make a copyright infringement claim. You just need two things: the copyright ownership or proof that the defendant had access to the copy and they did copy it. The first thing is easy to demonstrate, especially if you have the required paperwork. The second, however, is more difficult to prove. How do you prove that they copied you?

This is why we suggest you create a powerful brand identity and protect it by filing a trademark registration. After all, the brand is the most important asset for you. The brand and the image is the key link between you and your customers. Registration is basic and simple and it lasts for 10 years. And it works great – you get excellent protection against potential infringers. Do you want to learn more about intellectual property law in Miami? Contact an excellent intellectual property attorney to learn more!

#4 – Consider a patent application

Computer software is not patentable in all jurisdictions. For instance, as a general rule, in the EU and the UK, computer software cannot be patented. However, some software packages and apps have been successfully patented in these jurisdictions as well. Getting a patent is difficult in this sector, but you can get a local patent, available in the United States. Talk to an intellectual property lawyer to get more information about software patents. Keep in mind that a patent is key to protecting intellectual property in Miami.

#5 – Pursue anyone who infringes your work

If you have evidence that someone is copying your app, take immediate action against them! Pursue any person that copies or infringes your work as soon as possible.

Even though the copyright is based on the original app and another entity copies it and improves it, you can get protection. The entity that made improvements to the app will automatically be considered as the infringer. A common app, called Flappy Bird, was invaded by opportunists and infringers who created clones. The clones were identical or improved versions, but they were all deleted following legal action. At the height of the infringement, 60 Flappy Bird clones popped up every day (this means a different clone every 24 minutes).

Also, the platform doesn't offer legal protection, so you have to get your own protection. For instance, Google has over 3 million apps but doesn't check any copyright infringements when the app is uploaded. Your app may be cloned and Google doesn't take any legal action. You, as the legal owner of the app, must take measures and protect it. If your copyright and trademark rights are sorted out, you get full legal protection.

#6 – Protect yourself from infringing others

Many of us are inspired by the works of others. We've already seen a great app in the app store and want something similar. But what happens if you copy an idea without even realizing the legal consequences? The best way to avoid this is to be as creative and as unique as possible. Try to create something different, even though it's not ideal. Otherwise, you can be liable for legal action. Try to be as professional as possible – this is key to protecting intellectual property in Mi ...

News Release: Protecting intellectual property for Apps
Submitted on: January 24, 2021 02:18:46 AM
Submitted by: Florida IP Attorney
On behalf of: