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A Guide to Protecting Your App Idea From Being Stolen

Learn how to protect an app idea, prevent cloning in its early stages, and what an outsourced development team can offer.

How to Protect An App Idea And Why It’s Important

We’ve all witnessed idea snatching to some extent. Social networks all across the globe copy each other, and for the most part, there are identical products on the market from different brands. Even the songs we all listen to by different artists aren’t so different. The development of apps isn’t anything special.  It’s not uncommon for an app to be cloned during its early stages of business app development. You can call it whatever you want: stealing, copycatting, etc., but what remains the same is that when someone comes up with a million-dollar idea, there’s bound to be someone who wants to replicate it.

Of course, some people will say that there’s no point in stealing an idea if it has no chance for realization. But this is true both for the idea itself and for the way it’s implemented. If you don’t want to become a victim of theft, it’s worth thinking about methods of prevention and security in advance.

What Are The Possible Consequences Of A Stolen Mobile App Idea

Why is stealing an idea bad? After all, there are already thousands of similar options on the market. Is it even worth developing in the first place? Clones harm a company’s growth because they’re prone to capturing potential users, advertisers, and ultimately profits.

In addition to losing profits, the market value of the company itself, and its reputation, the owners will have to spend months or even years in court to prove the damage caused. After all, intellectual property is not a physical object, and it’s difficult to prove a case of theft because there’s a fine line between stealing an idea and “inspiration.”

What Are Some Legal Ways To Protect An Idea from Theft?

Today, there are many ways to protect an app idea, e,g., intellectual property. This is necessary so that in the case of theft or fraud, the business owner can recover damages from the perpetrator.

Protecting an app idea at the state level: what types of protection are available? 

1. Patent

A patent is an excellent way to certify the exclusive right, authorship, and priority of an invention, utility model, or design to protect an app idea. Unfortunately, however, in some countries, it’s not legally possible to patent an application. In Europe, it’s not possible, but in the USA and South Korea, it’s possible to patent an application’s code, design, and algorithms.

Another thing to mention is that the patenting process is long and expensive. If your application is in the development stage and does not generate any revenue, it might be worth omitting this step and moving on to other protection options.

2. Trademark

A trademark registration indicates the seriousness of a creator’s intention to protect their product; it’s an opportunity for protecting an app idea from cybersquatters. Trademark registration protects an application’s name and domain. 

This process is available in almost all countries. Choose the one that suits your business needs.

3. Copyright

The copyright process provides an individual the right to publish and use code written or planned for a specific application. Traditionally copyright is for brand names and literature or educational works. However, in modern times, it can also be applied to protect app ideas like software: outline drawings, terms of reference, application algorithms, interface ideas.

If you need to protect your app idea from being stolen, contact us here

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How to Protect a Mobile Application Idea at an Early Stage

1. Manage NDA

The mobile app owner has to collaborate with many who are not geographically located in the same country or even time zone during the business app development stage. Typically, many contractors are involved and many tasks to be performed, requiring detailed disclosure of the idea and its features. For your protection, sign a non-disclosure agreement with your contractors. Such an agreement offers clauses preventing contractors from disclosing sensitive and/or product-related information to others and special conditions for if the terms are violated. To date, this option has proven to be one of the most effective.

2. Research Partners

Before you start working on your application, you need to find decent developers. This can either be an in-house team or an outsourcing company. Make sure to do your research and pick a partner that has a transparent reputation with reviews on trusted platforms and relevant case studies to back their commercial proposal. As a rule, reputable developers have a decent portfolio; they boldly sign a nondisclosure agreement and are well aware of their rights and obligations.

3. Maintain records during business app development

Years of experience have taught me that whatever you do at any stage, whether inventing, creating, developing, or deploying your mobile app, document each step carefully. This applies to official documentation and payments to small notes. Protecting an app idea goes beyond verbal communication. 

4. Mind Your Words

How to protect an app idea goes beyond professional relationships. Make sure to manage data security well. There are countless stories of family members and friends taking ideas and running with them.  

How Can Computools Protect Your App Idea

1. First and foremost, we always sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) before executing a new assignment. As a receiving party, Computools accepts and understands the consequences associated with the disclosure and use of a customer’s idea.

2. Key project participants have been tested by time, proving that they’re dedicated professionals with years of coding experience behind them.

3. We always use modern methods for protecting and storing data.

4. Computools is ready to build and operate within your organization’s existing security infrastructure.

If you need a professional team to develop your app safely, contact our experts at info@computools.com.

Computools is a full-service software company that designs solutions to help companies meet the needs of tomorrow. Our clients represent a wide range of industries, including retail, finance, healthcare, consumer service and more.

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