If you are a mobile app developer and have created a new app, it may benefit from a number of intellectual property protections to protect your app. Failure to secure these protections in a timely manner may leave your creative work vulnerable to infringement, so it is important to act quickly once your app is complete and before your mobile app launch.. And although it may be tempting to take only one or two steps to secure rights associated with launching an app, apps are unique and may need several distinct safeguards in order to properly protect your potentially valuable intellectual property. From a legal perspective, a mobile app developer should protect her creative work.
A mobile app developer should consider their creations to be original works of authorship, like artistic works, architecture and computer software. As a result, they are protected by copyright law. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, an original work of authorship attains copyright protection “the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” This essentially means that copyright protection is granted to the mobile app developer automatically as soon as it is fully created. However, these copyright protections will not be enforceable in court unless you register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registering to protect your app as soon as it is fully created will help to ensure that it remains protected from infringement. This should be the first step of the mobile app developer once the app is created.
In order to communicate with others about the development of your app without leaving your work vulnerable to infringement, it is generally wise to insist that those you are communicating with remain subject to non-disclosure agreements. When your employees, design contractors, marketers and others involved in the process are bound by non-disclosure agreements, you may generally speak freely with them about your app development, it’s marketing strategies, etc. without fear that your communications will compromise your intellectual property rights.
Trademark Protections and Next Steps
While you cannot trademark your app as a whole, you may wish to obtain a trademark for its name and/or logo. Names and logos can be uniquely valuable assets when launching an app or website. Consider how powerful logos for companies like Apple are or how names like Facebook, Google and Twitter helped turn startups into household brands. Obtaining trademarks for your app’s name and logo will help to ensure that no one else can capitalize on your app’s successes and marketability. Obtaining a trademark is another good step in launching an app.
Before launching an app, It is also worth considering how your potential customers will access your app. Two of the most important steps you can take in advance of your mobile app launch are registering your domain name and reserving your app’s “spot” in marketplaces like the App Store and the Play Store. If you don’t protect your accessibility in this way, your app may prove difficult to find and utilize. Next step after your mobile app launch is discovery in the app stores.
Help Is Available
If you have questions about protecting the intellectual property rights associated with your newly created app, launching an app or you would benefit from assistance in filing for such protections, please do not hesitate to reach out to the team at LawTrades. Our intellectual property attorneys are passionate about protecting the commercial rights of new works and about protecting mobile app developers from infringement. Our approach is affordable, efficient and effective so please consider contacting us today.