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Natalya Brinza Project Manager

How to Patent an Idea for an App

To take your idea through execution, you need not only get your application highly developed but also protect it from being plagiarized. Many people think that to patent an idea for an app is a right way to keep their brainchild safe. To find out if they are right, be ready to read this article.

What is a patenting an app?

This statement is a negative right where any sovereign state gives you the exclusive right to remove other people from building or selling your work. By this you get an assurance that nobody will infringe on your project and claim it as their own though it doesn't guarantee that. Note, when entering a crowded market, to get patents for apps might be a challenge for you. Such a tall order is. But if your technology is really innovative and unique, you have more chances to get your work protected from the others.

Read also: What to do if you have an app idea?

Before starting the process of patenting an app idea, make sure the project is worth it. Patent is not going to make your business successful, but the successful execution of its process definitely will. That is why,

Patent an Idea for an App

To patent an idea for an app, answer the next questions.

1 Is the need to protect already identified?

Before starting the patent process, think over not only if can you patent an idea for an app, but also the reason your app requires it. The most common reasons are safeguarding against stealing the concept or selling the patent to a larger firm. Anyway, you have to have a unique technology that will really impact its users' lives and make the process of patent issuance faster.

Read also: How to sell an app idea?

2 Are you ready to wait for your patent issued?

You might wait two to five years before getting your patent . Note that you won't get your patent issued after its one-year presence on the marketplace. Are you ready to put app release into cold storage? Really, do you need to patent an app?

3 Did you know that you can patent a product, not an idea?

A patent will be issued only if your product is already developed — ideas don't get patented.

4 What criteria meet your project?

When planning how to patent an idea for an app, discover the US Patent and Trademark Office special criteria for products that are to be patented. Your mobile app shouldn't use any methods or processes that were patented, published or used before for producing concrete result. In other words, a mobile app does not have any chances of being patented . When figuring out how to patent an app idea, not to get caught, search the existing database of already existing patents.

Patent an Idea

5 What type of patent is useful to you?

I will repeat that in the app development business, your projects get patent because of the process of designing, but not for the code or idea. However, both could be copyrighted. There are three categories of patents, but only two are relevant for the application development business. They are called Utility and Design Patents ( you choose either of these depending on how you want to patent an app). These patents protect systems, methods and function within the app. Because of impossibility of getting a patent until one year after exposing the application to the market, many merchants issue a provisional patent that is valid for one year. After this you have a whole year to decide if the product is fit so you can invest in a non-provisional patent.

6 How much does it cost to patent an app?

You should know that the filing fee for a provisional application is much less than the one for a non-provisional application. In general, the fee for a patent can cost you from $8,000 to 15,000, including the attorney fees.

If after reading this article registering a patent seems to you not your calling, you may register a copyright to have an opportunity to protect your app. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, your product will be under protection from the moment it was created. So, how do you patent an idea for an app?

Read alsoHow Much Does it Cost to Develop a Mobile App?

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author Kate Sipkina Kate Sipkina
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