A good idea is like discovering a pearl in the middle of the ocean, tough to come by but worth every effort. When it comes to mobile devices, this is more than sufficient. As the market is more competitive than ever before, you need a revolutionary app that attracts more and more customers.
Now, it is common to feel suspicious, and rightly so, that by making a similar one, someone else might assert that application. Is there anything that can be done to escape such a wretched fate? Sure. Of course. People ask this question more often than not, “Can you patent an app concept,” to which the answer is both single-worded and a little nuanced.
One of the most common areas wherein an increased incidence of innovation and creativeness is none other than but mobile technology. Therefore there are many innovations and developments which are taking place in this field in one form or the other. Some people are attempting to develop their smartphones while others are attempting to develop their mobile apps.
What are Patents?
Patents are simply the stamp that claims that the application made cannot be copied and has been developed by the concerned person. Therefore when we talk of patents we talk of protection that is given to innovative work. This protection plays a vital role to protect the rights of the developers of new things. Hence whenever a person develops something and gets a patent for that innovation, then in such a situation no other person over the internet or offline can copy or reproduce that work as his own.
This protects the owner from all the possible invasions of his or her privacy and rights. Whenever a third party reproduces your work as his own then the other person can easily get the work patented and in such a way it can deter the outsiders from misusing the developed work and protect the rights of the person.
What does Patenting a Mobile Application Means?
This is indeed one of the best and the foremost elements which should be ideally included as an important piece of law in the present times. With the level of development increasing in these years to come there is a further need to ensure that the rights of the people who spend their day in and day out are also protected.
Having said that there is a further need to ensure that the people can get the best training when it comes to an understanding of the setup of their rights. Hence patenting a mobile application acts as a safeguard against infringement and copying. It disallows the other person to reproduce somebody else’s work as your own and accordingly reap benefits.
Therefore in such a situation, there is a need to provide for the fact that the people can know their rights and get their applications patented under the required law of the nation and at the same time attempt to fulfill the objectives of the intellectual property laws in the country.
It is also important to mention that how to patent a mobile application is also very essential in the long run to reap the continued amount of benefits. However, the intellectual property laws provide that not only the application but at the same time the idea for the development of the mobile application is very effective in the long run.
Why is it essential to get Patent?
The next question which brims up tries to ascertain the importance of patents, copyrights and trademarks can help to provide for the maximum amount of efficiency and effectiveness. It can also assure that the needs and wants of the people are fulfilled in the minimum possible time without any repercussions.
Hence in such a situation, there is a further need to provide for the fact that the people can accord for the maximum amount of efficiency and effectiveness and at the same time assure these features for their innovation as well. In such a situation patents come to play.
Because if no protection is accorded to these works then there would not be any need to innovate or develop something with the help of creativeness. As the other person would himself not be in the position to reap the benefits of the innovation he or she has made by adding all the possible efforts.
Requirements to get a Mobile App Patented
No legal process in the present world is easy. Every process requires a different kind of strategy which has to be fulfilled to get the desired results. Therefore in such a situation, it is essential to provide the details of the steps which have to be followed for giving a particular result.
Therefore in such a situation, it is also very essential to provide for the legal requirements which have to be fulfilled every time before any step is taken.
The process is very easy and does not require so many formalities. however, you need to make sure that all the processes comply to the maximum possible extent.
There are usually three steps required so far to get a mobile application patented.
These three steps are very helpful in the long run for the desired results and at the same time attempt to summarize the best kinds of features which should ideally be complied
What are the important steps to follow for patent a mobile app?
Let us have a look at the steps that are needed when you want to develop a patent for your mobile application
1. Find the attorney who can help you out
To present a well-formed high-end patent, you must consult and employ a software patent attorney to improve the likelihood of your patent application being selected, provided they have sufficient years of experience.
Since it is a legal procedure that may require lawsuits, it is better to employ a specialist than to attempt to do it on your own. Going with the first solicitor you come across is not advisable. Do your homework and look under your budget for the best.
In addition, to test its flow, you can create a prototype of your mobile app. This would encourage your lawyer to analyze the flowchart of your software since it is not the code, but the proprietary app procedures and features. It can evaluate the app’s various operations in different industries beautifully and gives you a fresh way to think about what other components in your app are entitled to be patented.
2. Create a disclosure
Having an idea is only half the work done.
To continue this quote, the definition must be realized (at least to some degree) to prove its feasibility, something that is highly popular as an eligibility criterion.
As the court requires tangible evidence of your innovation to grant a patent against your application, you must ensure that the entire process of creation is registered. Also, to break down its flow, you can build a prototype of your application.
3. File an application
You will use two kinds of patent applications for your mobile app as your patent application: provisional and non-provisional patent applications.
It’s one of the most common applications for app patents. Under the provisional application, without a formal declaration of patent, claim or even statement of disclosure of knowledge, you will be allowed to apply. Here are some advantages provided by this application type:
- It takes 12 months for the creation of the MVP.
- Allows the word ‘patent pending’ on the app to be used
- Compared to non-provisional software, it is less costly to plan.
It can be submitted without any arguments made in respect of the application made in the country of the convention or without any reference to the application already in the official proceedings. It is important that a full argument and specifications should be accompanied.
- A written description of the invention and a claim which legally describes the invention should be included here.
- You need to ask two questions in order to pick one, as you must,
- How easily would you like to get your patent granted?
- How long do you want to postpone the expense of patent examinations
4. Submit your application
This is the last step towards an invention being patented. You are expected to fill it with the USPTO once you have successfully completed all the above measures and have prepared a patent application. You have to see things through, and this is a boring procedure requiring a lot of paperwork. Some of the significant documents you may need during the review are—
- Specification Indicator
- Type of Entity Status
- Declaration of Knowledge Disclosure
- Data Sheet for Application (ADS)
- Treaty of Patent Cooperation (for International Filings) (optional)
- Application to Render Special (optional)
- Sheet of Fees
- Layer of Cover
How much time does it take to get a patent for a mobile application?
It is time to look at the time it will take to complete the whole process now that we have delved into the expense and how to get a patent for an app.
Applications are denied more often than not, and resubmissions are carried out over and over again. Based on the circumstances, this back and forth phase can last up to 4 to 6 years. In fact, it took Mark Zuckerberg 6 years to get a patent granted in 2012 for Facebook.
Can you check whether an app is already patented or not?
You need to verify whether another party is already patenting a potentially unique mobile app design. For this purpose, on any associated mobile app idea that is either pending or marketed, a thorough study is needed. Where this information is processed and accessed, your state or country may have an operational database.
In addition, you can review data relating to various international patents via the WIPO IPC Catchword Index. You can understand how to patent a concept for an app this way.
What are the three Parameters on which your Patent is Accessed?
Let us now move forward and access the three parameters that must be followed to get your mobile application patent request approved.
There must be an Invention
The first and foremost step which should be taken to get a patent for the mobile application is to ensure that the mobile application or the idea to develop the mobile application is equal to an invention. This means that there is something unique about the mobile application and it never existed before this development. The invention also means that the thing is newly made available in the market and has not been developed by somebody else till now.
- Once you prove that the mobile application of the idea to develop the mobile application is an invention then you can easily get a patent which can prevent others from using your mobile application and make a profit out of them.
- In such a situation it is also essential to provide for the fact that the mobile application has a different coding altogether.
- Also, it must have a different Outlook and a different purpose to serve.
- Also, an attempt must be made to provide for the fact that the application or the idea to develop the application is not at all copied, and at the same time, you have to ensure that it is completely your creativity and innovation.
- Therefore once you prove all these requirements you are good to go to get the mobile application or the idea to develop the mobile application patented.
The Invention must be unique
We have already discussed what invention means. It is important to a certain that invention should be unique to the maximum possible extent. The invention does not mean that you copy the content of somebody else and we produce the same as your own. Instead, invention means to develop content or on your own with the help of your creativity and at the same time insure that such content or an idea never existed before. It is only when the invention is unique and different from whatever already exists in the market then you can get a patent for the mobile application of the idea to develop mobile applications.
In this way, a great amount of role is played by the level of your creativity and innovation. it is only when these ideas are satisfied and unique that they cannot be found in the market that you can protect them and prevent others from using them.
In such a situation we must be able to ensure that whatever we have made or whatever we are planning to make it unique in the market and there exists no copy of your creativity in the market.
This way you can help in the long run to help the economy of the country by developing intellectual property to the maximum possible extent.
This feature also has the advantage that when the people want to get a patent they have to develop a unique product and this uniqueness allows them to use their creativity in a much more creative manner so that they can bring a different ball in the entire basket. This helps them to think beyond the imagination and out of the box at the same time. It is very helpful to ensure that creativeness can benefit society as a whole.
Invention Must be Useful
The next important step that we have to consider in a mind before getting the mobile application for Idea to develop the mobile application pretended is to ensure that whatever creativity for innovation you have developed is helpful to the society at large. This plays a vital role in ensuring that it is benefited as a whole and the people can be benefitted from the level of creativity that has been shown by you. Therefore you have to make sure that whatever you develop is for the greater good of society and does not cause any possible harm to society.
- This will be extremely helpful and beneficial for society as a whole and at the same time promote a feeling of belongingness and fraternity to the maximum possible extent.
- The innovation that you develop must be helpful in several ways.
- For example, the E-commercial websites which have developed applications like Amazon and Flipkart are extremely useful to people since they no longer have to step outside their homes for buying anything.
- Messaging applications like WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal App is also very helpful to communicate with the world at large without spending any extra money.
- Therefore it is essential that innovation can serve the good of society to the maximum possible extent and at the same time show that no harm is caused to the society at all.
Hence once you have fulfilled these requirements the next step in line is to file for a patent and protect your ideas and applications against any possible infringement. Therefore in such a situation, there is a need to provide for the fact that the people are having confusion as to what to do after the requirements to file the patent has been fulfilled.
Different Types of Application for Filing a Patent
There are different types of applications that should be taken into accord for filing a patent for the mobile application or the idea to develop the mobile application. This is very helpful in the long run. At the same the details about the different forms and types of applications have been summarized as follows:
This is one of the most common and easiest ways to file a patent application for safeguarding your mobile application or the idea to develop the mobile application. This type is one of the most prevalent in most countries and is being widely used to safeguard innovation and creativity. It does not require many legal compliances and instead is a much informal way to safeguard the mobile application. Therefore when we talk of provisional applications we usually think of those applications which are being filed without undertaking so many formalities.
It is one of the easiest ways to handle things. So if you are the one who has developed a mobile application or is planning to develop a mobile application then you can simplify this patent application without getting involved in any type of legal implications and formalities. This is extremely useful and time-saving in various aspects. Also, this form has several benefits to its account. In the first place despite having not complied with the legal requirements the person can extend the protection of 12 months over the mobile application of the idea to develop mobile application.
This is another form of application that is usually filed for protecting mobile applications for the ideas to develop mobile applications. However, this form of mobile application is usually a big complex. if the person is willing to find a non-provisional application for patenting his mobile application or the idea to develop a mobile application then he must be very well conversant with the fact that this method would require a great number of legal complications and formalities which have to be complied with before getting access to any kind of patent. There are a great number of legal complications and the same have to be complied with very carefully as even if there’s just one mistake there would be a great amount of pressure on the entire process of getting a patent for the mobile application on the idea to develop mobile application.
This form of application requires a great amount of effort on the part of the person who wants to file a patent. it is more time-consuming and at the same point in time, it costs very much. Therefore in such a situation, it is important to provide for the fact that if a person is very much particular about getting a patent for his mobile application of the idea to develop mobile application then in such a situation he must try to apply for non-professional applications but at the same time has to be very careful about the fulfillment of all the liver complications which come along with.
This form of the non-provisional application in addition to all the legal complications also has a great number of benefits attached to it. It allows a person to use a patent for more than 12 months and at the same time a person is entitled to file an International claim using these patents.
Are there any alternatives for getting a patent?
Copyright or copyright on a smartphone app is an age-old debate. Copyright is also a type of IPRs, like copyright, but a little different though. The inventor or creator of any work, i.e. literary, creative, educational, musical, or computer programs, is a set of copyright issues and enables them to publish or replicate their work, create copies, etc., regardless of whether it is published or unpublished.
This preserves the expression of thoughts and not the definition itself. So, in our case, the app logo can be patented and not the app itself, since it does not cover facts, concepts, structures, or operating methods.
Patents forbid the manufacture or sale of a patented invention by others, while a trademark protects terms, phrases, symbols, logos, or other devices that identify the originator’s products or services, thus preventing other competitors from using them. Thus, for the logo of your application, a trademark can be given to prevent your rivals from copying it and causing confusion among consumers.
3. Non-Disclosure Agreements
The NDA is a contract signed between you and your mobile app development business, usually by the people you work with on your project. This legally binds them to keep the definition and technicalities of your app private. This, in fact, prevents the concept from outsiders using it.
What are the costs involved in getting a mobile application patented?
To address the question of “How much does patent a mobile app cost?” We would claim that it varies according to the type of patent application that you are applying for. To understand the more precise costs, including each charge, you should refer to the USPTO listing. Moreover, here are a few simple fees you are expected to pay when applying for the patent application for the app:
- Elementary fee for filing: $70-280+
- Check premium for patents: $150-600
- Fee for Patent Examination: $180-700
- The maintenance fee for 3.5-years: $400-1600 (involves keeping a granted patent valid)
- The maintenance fee for 7.5 years: $900-3600
- The maintenance fee for 11.5 years: $1850-7000
The cost of patenting a mobile app with a provisional patent application can vary from $2000 to $5000 for the purpose of mentioning a number, while it ranges from $10,000 to $15,000 for a non-provisional patent.
Having said this, it is extremely beneficial and helpful to provide for the fact that the people are becoming aware of their needs. In such a situation there is a need to ensure further that these processes are complied with to the best of the capacity and capability of the person and at the same time make sure that the needs and wants of the customer are fulfilled to the maximum possible extent.
There is a need to ensure that the people who try to infringe the rights of another person are punished and an attempt is made to ensure that they can get a stringent punishment whenever there is a need to ensure that the facets of the economy are fulfilled to the greatest possible extent. If you want to get your mobile application patented then you must get in touch with the experts to help you out.
Yeah, you can patent smartphone apps to put this topic to an end, not just an idea, there should be tangible proof of the project. Whether or not you should think of patenting your mobile application depends on your needs as well. In any event, the intellectual property patent defence app is adamant as it is a shield for the app for as long as 20 years against copying, unconsented use, and more. Want to get your app patented then Arka Softwares can be your best companions.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on the latest technological trends.