Patent an app idea

A lot of entrepreneurs and startup owners claim that their app idea has been used without their consent. It is quite a frustrating fact that your exclusive app idea has not only been stolen but also someone using that and earning handsome revenue. Apart from these, a lot of entrepreneurs also experienced that after working for months on an app idea, they find someone else has launched an app based on the same idea. In this kind of situation, the entire efforts and money go in vain! And we do not want you to see it in the same phase!

Today, we are here with an effective way that will protect your app idea from being stolen or misused by someone without your consent. Maybe you have heard about the app idea patent. Thanks to intellectual property law as it is a blend of patent, trademark copyright law in order to properly safeguard mobile app ideas. By patenting your app ideas you can keep others away from making use of or selling them. 

The market is filled with copycats. So, you should always take the required protection measures otherwise surviving in the pool of competition will be very tough for you. Apart from this, when you have an exclusive app idea, you also want to know that who else is also thinking the same. Patent an app idea will also help one to know there is anyone else prior to him or her working on this idea or not. If you do not check that your app idea is already patented, your months of effort and money can go in vain. 

‘How to patent an app idea’ is the most common question that every startup and entrepreneur should have in mind before starting the actual app work. Today, we are going to cover each and everything related to patenting an app idea in 2020. 

What is a patent for app idea?

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In order to keep it simple, we can say that it is intellectual property law. It protects an app idea against non-consensual or illegal usage. 

Patent for app idea prohibits other businesses or individuals from changing or selling the app idea. It establishes you as the sole owner of the app idea. 

It also ensures that no one can profit or ruin it by claiming credit illegally for tour exclusive and unique app idea. 

Can you Patent an app idea?

Yes, you can patent an app idea. An app idea is accepted as a component that is rich in different methods of interaction. But you cannot patent the code of the app as the code of the app is covered by copyright law. 

We can say that patenting the process or method of the app that it will follow to perform a specific task is possible. 

Why should you patent an app idea?

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In order to make your app idea only your exclusive intellectual property, you should patent the app idea. In this way, you will get the right to look for compensation from a party that tries to violate the patent laws. Below, we are listing down the reasons for patenting an app idea:

  • You will be able to legally accuse every clone of the original application
  • The patent of your app idea will prove the uniqueness as well as originality
  • No cunning party will be able to exploit your app idea financially

It is not that all the app ideas get the patent benefits. We have seen that even after applying with all the right data, some app ideas failed to get the required protection. Actually, there are some requirements that an app idea needs to pass to get the patent. Below, we are listing down the requirements that your app idea needs to qualify to get a patent. 

Eligibility criteria to Patent an app idea

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Generally, there are three prime points that will decide whether your app idea is eligible to get the patent or not. 

It should be an invention- patents are generally used for properly safeguarding inventions. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, patents can be used for protecting inventions. Inventions that are defined as a solution to all will get the patent benefit. 

You know that a mobile app idea is not a physical thing and that’s why its process will be accepted as an invention. The procedure can solve any issue simply like an invention. 

App ideas should be new and unique- Your app idea can fix a problem for the users. But does not mean the idea will qualify for a patent. The app idea should be new as well as non-obvious. In a simpler tone, we can say that your app idea should not be disclosed in a public format earlier in any format such as a book, YouTube video, article, blog, pending patent app, and so on. 

It should be properly and in all ways unique and does not exist already otherwise it will not pass the patent eligibility criteria. For example, we can say that you can come with an app that works like Uber and satisfies a lot of users yet you will not get the patent as it is a clone of the Uber application. 

It should be useful- last but not least criteria, your app idea should be useful. No matter if your app idea is about entertaining people or letting them order food online easily, the app idea should work in theory. There are a lot of app ideas that do not get patents even being unique because they do not seem as useful as it needs to be. So, it will be always better if you create an effective and detailed explanation of your application to prove your ownership claim easily. 

How to Patent an app idea: step by step process

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Patenting an app is quite easy. All you need to do is just follow the steps properly. If you mess with the steps or try to start without proper knowledge, the entire thing will be harder for you. 

Patent an app idea: Search for a patent lawyer

In order to broaden the scope to get a patent for your app, it is important to consult as well as deploy a lawyer. You should consult with a lawyer who has prior experience working in the same field with success. Hiring a lawyer who deals with software or application patenting is actually helpful to get adding help. And that’s why we are suggesting you go with an experienced lawyer. 

You can understand that it is a legal procedure and it will incorporate litigation. There are a lot of people who try to do it by themselves and end up with a huge mess. If you are not properly sure about the entire procedure, it will be better if you hire a professional to do the task on your behalf. You should not go with a random search result. Before selecting one, you should do proper research, compare the charges, check the previous success case, and only after then you should select one and start working together. 

Patent an app idea: Share your mobile app invention

You may have an exclusive app idea but that is not enough to get the patent. You have to drag the idea into reality and prove its benefits. It is one of the most important steps to get a patent for an app. The court will ask you to submit the proper proof of your app idea or invention. It will be better if you document the entire process of app development before applying for a patent for your app. 

A lot of experts suggest starting with a prototype of the app instead of writing a long document. The prototype of the app will help your lawyer to properly access the app’s flowchart. In this way, it will be easier to get patents for app procedures and functionalities. It will also help you to properly analyze various operations of your app in different industries. After the proper analysis, you can understand other eligible components in your app for a patent. 

Patent an app idea: Continue patent research

In the earlier points, we have recommended you hire a professional. Hiring a professional does not mean you can stop your research. Gathering more knowledge will actually help you to fasten the process. 

When you will have the required knowledge you can perform the task alone easily with minimum to zero help from a professional. But experts say that a lawyer can run some miles extra for us to let us get the patent faster by ensuring the maximum scope to get the patent approval. 

File the patent application to Patent an app idea

Generally, there are two types of patent applications- provisional application and non-provisional patent application. Based on your app idea type, you have to choose one. Below, we are giving a brief description of both types of applications so that you can easily understand the type of your app. 

Provisional application- Provisional patent application is known as the most common type for patenting an app idea. We have noticed that it has been the first approach for a lot of companies when they try to start with the patent process. 

Here, you can file to get a patent even without having a formal patent claim, declaration, or and related information. Below are the benefits that you can get from the provisional application process-

  • It will grant you a complete year (12 months) in order to properly develop as well as refine the MVP. 
  • You can use the term ‘patent pending’ on your product
  • The non-provisional application process is a bit expensive than this one
  • It will help you to file international applications as well as claim priority within a year

Non-provisional application- If you choose the non-provisional application type, you can file the application without even having any priority of the app made in a  conventional country. Or you will not even require any reference to the app that is already in the process in your office. 

But the application needs to be accompanied by proper specifications and claims. This kind of application should contain the required information such as a well-written description of the invention along with at least one claim that legally defines the benefit and bounds of your invention. 

Just by consulting with a professional and experienced attorney, you can easily determine which type of patent application will be right for you. he/she can also help you in fastening the patent application process. It is always important to get patent protection on novels as well as non-obvious inventions so that you can keep others away from stealing your exclusive app idea. 

What if your app idea is already patented by someone else

It can be possible that what you are planning to craft is already crafted by someone else. So, in order to be risk-free, you should start looking into existing as well as pending patent app ideas. Generally, your country or state will have an operational database where this kind of data gets preserved and accessed. For example, in the United States, the USPTO offers a completed and updated database to check all the published and pending patents. 

Apart from this, you can also search through the IPC Catchword Index of WIPO. It comes with data related to different international patents. In this way, you will be able to get a patent for app idea. 

When should you file to Patent an app idea?

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Maybe you are the first one who has invented an amazing app idea yet you will not be able to get the patent if you apply for a patent instantly. One who will be the first to file a patent will be accepted as the eligible candidate to get the patent. We have seen that for this reason a lot of start-up owners and entrepreneurs do not get the patent. So, it will be always better if you file for a provisional patent before disclosing any important details publicly. 

There are a lot of patent attorneys who will help you to get the required protection for your app idea. Even before discussing with an investor about the app, you should consult an attorney. You may have already signed a non-disclosure agreement yet you will be able to apply for a patent. 

How much you may need to pay to get a patent for app idea?

Well, the cost is always a factor. Based on the category of the patent, the cost will differ from one app idea to another. Generally, a provisional patent’s price range from $2000 to $5000. You can easily refine an app as well as launch it after applying for a provisional patent. In this way, you will be able to check the success rate of the app idea in the present market. The provisional patent validity expires after 12 months from its grant date. 

When it comes to the non-provisional patent type, we can say that the price ranges from $10,000 to $15,000. In this process, an admin checks your patent app idea for a long time to check if it really warrants a patent or not. 

Additional things to consider to Patent an app idea

Once you are done with the above-mentioned things, you should prepare a final patent application. You need to file it with the USPTO or based on the operational database available in your country or city. 

The process is a bit harder and takes a sound amount of time as here you need to perform a lot of paperwork. In this procedure, you will require the below-listed documents

  • Specification
  • Declaration
  • Data disclosure statement
  • Entity status form
  • Claims
  • Application datasheet
  • Drawings
  • Patent cooperation treaty for international filings 

These are the important things that you need to prepare before filing for a patent. It is not that you will get success on the first try. If your application gets rejected, again you can apply for that with little to moderate modification. Based on the situation, the entire process can take nearly 4 to 6 years. 

Conclusion

When it comes to How to patent an app, you can understand the process is long as well as requires a lot of effort. If you have enough confidence in your invention and find it well-competitive, you can easily file a patent application. Initially, the process may seem tedious but believe me, it is better than handling some clone app stealing, violating your exclusive business ideas, and going through a patent breach lawsuit. 

If you have further queries related to how to patent an app, you can directly reach us. If you have app development requirements with post-delivery support, you can easily contact us. Being the leading app development company, we are able to develop any kind of app for you at a reasonable charge.
We have satisfied a lot of native and overseas clients and the next turn is yours. So, don’t hesitate to share your requirements via our quote form and we will be back to you with the best solutions as soon as possible.

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