Why do you need to patent an app idea? There are plenty of promising mobile app ideas in the market but what if you come up with something exclusive and someone else steals your idea to convert it into their own big break? Fortunately, there is a law that safeguards exclusive app ideas from external threats making sure that the idea only favors the founder. So if you have an exclusive app idea in your mind or even a new approach for the existing trends in the market, make sure to patent your mobile app idea.
After you have your app idea patent, you can either leverage it to create your own business application with the help of an experienced mobile app development company or sell your idea to the interested party for a considerable profit. Various entrepreneurs and startups patent their mobile apps ideas for long-term gain as they have already scaled the financial graphs of their app ideas.
PS: There are various mobile app ideas revolving in the market, cross-check to confirm that your idea is actually unique so that your efforts do not go in vain.
But what if you do not have an exclusive app idea? Is the story over for you? Well, here is the list of best online business ideas that you can start in 2021 – though you cannot patent one.
For now, the article answers the most rigid questions about patenting your mobile application idea so that it maintains its exclusivity.
What else might interest you?
Though you cannot patent these online business ideas, these are worthy enough to give a thought if you lack unique ideas but want to start an online business anyways…
-> T-Shirt Printing and selling business idea for sure-shot success in 2021 and beyond.
-> Having a vintage clothing store.
-> Sell Your Artwork Online
-> Sell Photos Online
-> Start a Jewelry Business
-> Own a grocery app
-> Own a cab riding app
-> An online clothing store
-> Start A Dropshipping Business holding to a profitable dropshipping niche.
What do you mean by Patenting the Mobile App Idea?
Patent, the trademark of copyright means no other party can steal your idea – you legally own your app idea and anybody who tries to steal your idea is more likely to face legal consequences.
Talking particularly about Patent, it is an intellectual property law that:
-> Protects your app idea from being used illegally or without your consent.
-> Prohibits anyone else in the market from changing or selling it – including the companies, individuals, or a group of people.
-> Ensures that no one except the owner is able to monetize the idea.
-> Makes sure that no one is able to claim false investments showing the business plan based on your idea.
Is It Possible To Patent A Mobile App Idea?
Yes, you can patent a unique and exclusive mobile app idea. But you cannot patent a working application as the segment is covered under copyright. What you can do is patent your unique app idea, the approach, or the procedure the app follows – specifically through which the app can be monetized.
Also, know how much does mobile app development costs? In figures
Why Do You Need To Patent An App Idea?
If your app idea depicts a unique business approach that can earn a monetary gain then do patent your app idea as this is your excellent intellectual property. The app idea, if exclusive and original will fetch more user attention and will help you eliminate competition in your respective segment.
Apart from exclusivity, here are the other major reasons for patenting a mobile application:
-> By claiming your unique app idea, you can legally accuse any other venture that is the clone of your original application. Provided that your app should be launched before or in a lineup with the latter.
-> Getting your app idea patent automatically means that your idea is unique and is worthy in a professional context.
-> After getting your app idea patent, no unscrupulous third party can exploit your unique app idea.
When an App Idea is Eligible for Patent?
Patenting your unique app idea is the wisest thing you can do in 2021, but before putting in any efforts let’s discuss what makes your app idea eligible for a patent?
Here are some crucial criteria that decide the patent eligibility of your application idea:
1. Needs to be an Innovative
Patents are dedicated to safeguarding inventions only. As per WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), patents are provided to the inventions that are presented as the solution to the existing issues or provide ease to a huge crowd. As a mobile app idea is not tangible, it is considered to be on the invention stage.
2. Needs to be Unique
Even if your app idea solves a problem or is highly beneficial for a huge crowd of audience, it will do no good until it is new and unique. An idea that is never thought of before and is financially worth it. Your app idea should not be launched publicly through any source including Youtube, books, articles, pending patent apps, and other sources.
3. Needs to be Qualified as Useful
If your app solves a challenge or serves a purpose it is useful. Remember serving a purpose also includes entertainment and aggregating categories. For being qualified as useful, your app needs to perform at least in theory – if not then you cannot patent your app idea.
Before initiating to patent your application, create a descriptive on how your app is your asset?
Want to convert your exclusive app idea into a fully functioning enterprise-level application? Have a look at this complete guide on mobile app development.
How to check that your App Idea has Already Been Patented?
You need to check your app idea for authenticity and uniqueness as this is one of the eligibility criteria that are to be met. You need to do a detailed inspection to ensure that your app features are already patented by another party. To serve your purpose, your city or state has a list of apps that are either marketed or are pending for patent. Go through the database to ensure that your app is unique.
Go through the IPC Catchword Index of WIPO a comprehensive patent list that has data related to different international patents – post detailed checking you can think about patenting your app idea. Also, you can go to the USPTO site or Google Patents website.
How can you Patent Your Mobile App Idea?
Here is the roadmap for you to patent your app idea in 2021:
Step – 1 Approach a Patent Lawyer
Hiring an expert for patenting your mobile app idea is inevitable. Aiming towards maximizing the probability to win the patent you need the assistance and guidance of a patent lawyer. First thing first you need to consult with and employ a lawyer who deals in software patenting. Being a layman to patent legalities it is recommended for you not to take a chance and go with the experts. DIY can be risky at this stage. Approach an attorney, make a detailed study and seek the expert that fits your budget.
Step – 2 Explain Your App Invention
Having an abstract idea will take you nowhere with the patent, you need to portray your idea through complete documentation explaining the entire mobile app development process, its in-built features, and functionalities and how it will benefit the end-consumers?
Along with detailed documentation, you can create an app mockup or a prototype of your unique app idea to exactly show the flow of your application. The lawyer will assess your app’s flowchart. Not the coding but your app’s functionalities are the ones that get patented. Detailed documentation and prototyping will help assess your application for other hidden factors and benefits that are qualified to get patented.
Even if you do not have a unique idea, you can think of a unique approach to these 13 customary mobile app ideas to start your business in 2021.
Step – 3 Re-Assure Your Patent Originality
Even if the groundwork is already done by you, your friends, or your family members but you still need a software patent lawyer who holds expertise in scrutinizing the product authenticity by conducting a global search for similar apps or apps that have a similar functional approach.
Re-assurance by a software patent lawyer will set the concrete ground for you ensuring that there is no near future discrepancy in getting your app idea approved for a patent.
Step – 4 File Provisional or Non-Provisional Patent Application
There are two patent claim statuses you can go for – Provisional Patent and Non-Provisional Patent.
If you file for a provisional patent, you can do it without a formal patent claim, declaration, or even data closure statement. The application for a provisional patent will live you the benefit of:
-> Mentioning “Patent Pending” on your app.
-> You can take 12 months to provide an MVP declaring your app idea and serving the purpose.
-> Preparing for a provisional patent is comparatively cheaper than a non-provisional patent.
With a non-provisional patent, you are claiming that your app idea is unique with no prior reference that is present in the procedure. It should be accompanied by total claims and specifications. Your app idea needs to be guided by a detailed description and a claim that defines the invention legally.
How do you choose between provisional and non-provisional application patents?
The two key considerations while selecting the patent application status are expenses and time taken to patent your mobile app idea.
For how long do you want to delay your patent expenses?
If you do not want to bear a higher expense immediately then you can go with a provisional patent and later with the non-provisional expense.
How quickly do you want to patent your app?
If you want to quickly patent your app then go for a non-provisional patent.
Step – 5 Submit Your Patent Application
Last but not the least, submit your patent application. This is the last step of your parenting journey, till here you have done every research, document scrutinizing, and prepared a flowchart depicting the complete functionality of your application. Once you have prepared a patent application, you need to file it with the USPTO.
Filing a patent is not an easy task, it calls for a lot of paperwork and research. Here are the important documents that you need to complete the patent procedure:
-> Declaration or Oath
-> Data Disclosure Statement
-> Entity Status Form
-> Application Data Sheet
-> Patent Corporation Treaty (for international filings only)
-> Fee Sheet
-> Cover sheet
-> Application keeping the special case (optional)
There are alternatives to patenting your ideas. To secure your app idea for potential threats, you can go with copyright claims, trademarks, and Non-Disclosure Agreements.
What if Your App Idea is Patented by Someone Else Before You?
This is indeed disheartening that someone else has already patented your application idea before you. But this is not the time to give up. After you find out that your application idea is already discovered by someone else, you can leverage your knowledge and study to create a different approach to the old app idea. You can come up with unique functionality that will serve people better. This way your knowledge, time, and efforts are saved.
When to Patent A Mobile App Idea?
The owner of the app idea is the one who has patented it and not the one who came up with it in the first place. If the person patenting the idea is the one who has founded it then there is no issue but if these are two different persons then this might be a threat to ownership.
Highly recommended by patent lawyers – you should not disclose your mobile app idea to any potential investor before patenting it. Even if you have signed a non-disclosure agreement it is said to speed up the patent formalities.
What is the cost of Patenting Your Mobile App Idea?
The cost to patent the mobile app depends on the patent status that you are aiming for – provisional patent or non-provisional patent.
The provisional patent goes for $2000 to $5000. After provisional patent, you can modify your application to introduce more changes and launch it in the market to assess its financial success. The provisional patent expires after a year of its grant.
Non-provisional patent costs somewhere between $10,000 – $15,000. This is the reason why your app is scrutinized for its authenticity by an admin entity for quite some time to see whether or not the app idea demands a patent. Without the groundwork, it is quite possible that your time and efforts are going to go to waste.
How Long Does it Take to Patent A Mobile App Idea?
You are more than lucky if your patent application gets passed in a single run. There are instances when applications get rejected (due to various other reasons) and then need to be submitted again. Based on the situation and parallel responses by the applicant, the patent compilation takes almost 3-6 years.
It is not easy to patent a mobile app idea but once done will be the biggest break of your life. You need to have a level of confidence in your mobile app idea to work enough for the long patenting process. Patenting a mobile app idea is a long turmoil but all that goes worth it when you are relaxed that no one can steal and make a clone of your unique business ideas.