How to Patent your Mobile App idea in 7 Steps?

By Ruchir C.

In today's techno-entrepreneurial world, original ideas tend to be precious, especially those concerning smartphone applications. So being aware of how to patent an app idea is the best method to protect it. You can additionally require redress in cases of misuse.

Any time you work on your app, copycats from the market might illegally obtain and profit from your unique concept, reducing the number of hits your app receives with the profits you're entitled to.

The original ideas are now scarce, and once you have one, you should have it implemented so that no one will be able to release an app before you have it. The mobile app concepts that are unique, appealing to users, and disruptive tend to be the most popular and are more prone to getting copied and stolen.

Are you considering an option? There is a method to protect the original mobile app idea. Yes, it's Intellectual property law. This law permits your mobile app concept's trademarks, patents, and copyrights. You are now thinking about whether you can trademark your app's mobile concept or not.

It could be a tempting idea to create an app and patent it. The market is competitive, and copycats are fearless in creating an app similar to yours if they see the possibility of making money. The feeling of being protective of the idea is normal. But, the idea must be unique to be eligible for patent protection.

Below is the essential information about what it takes to register an application. Keep in mind that the law may differ depending on the country you are from. Contact your local authorities for the most up-to-date guidelines.

What is Patent an App Idea in Simple Words?

A patent is a kind of legal protection for intellectual properties that grant owners the right to create, use, sell, and make the invention during a certain time. To be granted a patent for your mobile app, an inventor has to submit a patent application to The US Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO).

The patent application should include an extensive outline of the mobile app idea and claims that specify what elements are covered through the patent application. After the patent is filed, it is scrutinized by a patent examiner who will verify that it meets the legal requirements to be patentable. The inventor will receive an official patent if the patent is approved. Patenting mobile app concepts is seeking protection of intellectual property rights for your concept from the US government. This way, you'll be granted patent rights that grant you the exclusive right to create, use and sell your app idea for a specific time.

You've probably heard of the term "patent" If you want to establish your own company. Patents are intellectual property protection that protects your application from illegal or non-consensual use.

Furthermore, it stops individuals and businesses from changing or selling the app by recognizing that you are the sole proprietor of your app concept. In addition, a patent-protected app can ensure that nobody can claim the app's credit idea in a wrong manner or destroy the idea.

Types of Ways to Patent Mobile App Idea

Many kinds of patent applications are submitted to the patent bodies each year. Some of the most frequent and popular types are as follows:

Non- Provisional Application 

Another kind of mobile app patent is a non-provisional one. It is often referred to as the initial step to obtaining a legally-validated patent.

You may use a non-provisional application after you're done with the design and development, along with the other features included in the application. This application section comprises print images, text, and your final version.

For non-provisional patents, typically cost between $10,000 to $15,000. When you file your patent, it will be inspected at the USPTO. The examination can take anywhere from one to three years. The examiner will review your patent and then begin searching for patents to determine if it's qualified. Before closing this blog, let's look at the various kinds of patent applications that you can try out and submit a patent application for your idea for an app.

Provisional Application

Provisional patents for mobile apps are essentially legal documents used by patent applicants to ensure an early effective filing date for an application for patents later filed. Provisional applications include everything: a complete outline of app features, images, and drawings, as well as paper. A reputable mobile app development company constantly seeks patents for app professionalization to protect app concepts.

In the case of provisional patents, the cost is about $2000-$5000. After making a provisional application, you are free to create and launch your application. A provisional patent is valid for one year, and you may use this time to test the app's effectiveness.

Do You Need a Patent for an App?

Before knowing how can you patent your app idea, it is important to know do you need to patent your app idea? It is unnecessary to patent your app to create it and then release it for sale. It is recommended to patent your app only if it's an original concept that has yet to be attempted before and can be replicated. Suppose the idea you're proposing is a generic marketplace, social network, as well as and internet-based shopping mall. In that case, it's not eligible to be patented in the absence of specific features that make your app distinctive - for example, the "methods" and "processes" discussed in the preceding paragraph. They could be protected with the patent.

However, you must be aware that having an app patent will help people copy technical aspects of your app. However, it does provide you with the legal foundation to claim compensation if this scenario arises. Even so, the process of suing a court could take years. Do you require patents for your app or not? It's entirely up to you.

7 Ways to Patent Your App Idea

It's time to learn how to patent a mobile app for those just beginning in this area. The steps are easy for those familiar with the idea of patenting mobile apps, as well as its specifications and the rules and regulations that go with it.

Typically, the mobile application development firm you sought out to get your app designed will be able to guide you through the whole procedure of registering your mobile application.

This brief guide will give an in-depth overview of the process of creating your mobile app Step-by-step. Let's begin:

Find and Enlist with a Patent Attorney

To ensure you have a properly-structured high-end patent and to improve the odds of your patent application being selected to be considered, you should consult and employ an attorney for software patents, as they've got years of expertise.

Because it's legal and could involve litigation, it's recommended to work with an expert rather than at it on your own. It is not recommended to choose the first lawyer you meet. Research and search for the top attorney that fits your budget.

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Other App Research

However impressive your concept may be to the general public, or if it is truly innovative and new, it is not an alternative. Research is the essential component of any procedure. Doing this before filing a patent on your app idea is essential.

It is essential to check out the market and see if anyone else may have come up with an identical software or application, If not in your own country but a different country. If your ideas are similar to yours, the likelihood of legal action could increase significantly.

Additionally, there are cases in that solutions have already been created but need to be marketed because of some reason. This indicates that patent holders are entitled to their rights but have yet to make the application idea public or commercial.

Therefore, make sure you're investing time into research since there are people on the market who could claim their royalties once you have your product or service commercially. To avoid any illegal claims or issues, be sure that you devote sufficient time to thorough market research and applied research.

File a Regular Patent Application Within 1 Year

You must submit regular patents within one year after filing the provisional patent. If you comply with this, you'll retain the filing date.

The normal patent application begins the examination process, determining whether you are granted an original patent to the submitted app.

Your patent application is broken down into:

  • Specification

  • Claims

  • Abstract

  • Drawings

You must be aware that the patent examiner will probably not approve your patent at the initial round. The process usually takes between about 1 to 3 years.

Disclosure of Your Mobile App Invention

Making a mobile app that is a revolutionary idea was just half completed, and the second part is just beginning. After obtaining a skilled patent lawyer, it's time to announce your mobile app's idea, which is a crucial step.

Suppose you want your patent accepted before the judge. In that case, you must prove that your idea is feasible, practical, and fits completely within the eligibility criteria. To show the court tangible evidence of your invention, you must keep track of the entire process using flow charts or even create a model if you require proof of your concept.

Another important thing to know is that the method or code isn't important. The only thing patentable is the function of the mobile app idea.

A clear flowchart of your mobile app concept can simplify the process for patent attorneys. It is possible to provide him with a complete flowchart to understand the specific functionality and details. The flowchart should show the entire data, processes, and information process.

Patent Application Filing (Provisional or Non-provisional)

Filing a non-provisional or provisional patent application is solely based on the invention's nature, the market's size, and the solution space. Other factors contribute to whether to file either a non-provisional or provisional application.

Suppose your goal is speedier times to get your product on the market. If that is the situation, you should opt to file a non-provisional patent application since it requires less time to get granted by the authorities concerned.

Submit Your Patent Application

This is the last step of registering a mobile application idea. Once you successfully complete the above steps and have a completed Patent application, you will need to submit it to the USPTO.

While it's a lengthy process that requires much paperwork, it's important to investigate the process.

Receive Your Approval

Once you've submitted your patent application, you will receive an official notification from the agency of the government responsible for the processing of patents in your country. The notice will let you know whether your application was accepted or rejected. If your application is granted, you will receive an official patent certificate, and the patent is valid in the country where you received it.

In certain cases, you might also receive international patents granted by specific countries, in combination with the one where you submitted your initial application. These patents offer additional protection to your inventions in the countries they're granted. Please be aware that a granted patent can only be valid during the duration it is granted, typically two years following the day the application was submitted. When the term of the patent expires, your invention will be made open to the public, and anyone will be able to use it.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for A Mobile App Patent?

Now as you know how do you patent an app, there are some documents required. The essential documents you will require to submit your application are listed below. To quickly and efficiently finish your application, it is essential to ensure that all documents are prepared thoroughly before submitting your application.

  • Specification

  • Declaration or Oath

  • Data Disclosure Statement

  • Entity Status Form

  • Claims

  • Application Data Sheet

  • Drawings

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (Optional and for International Filings)

  • Cover Sheet

  • Fee Sheet

  • Application to Create Special (Optional)

How to Know if the App Idea is Eligible for Patenting?

To ensure that your app idea is eligible for patenting, consider following points:

App Idea Must Be New and Unique

If your mobile app's idea solves the problem of users, it still needs to be qualified for a patent. Your idea for an app must be original and unique. Simply put, your idea is not previously disclosed in public formats such as books, patent applications pending, YouTube videos, articles, and many other sources.

Additionally, it should be distinctive and unique and must still exist. Otherwise, you cannot patent it. For example, if you've created an app that is mobile like Uber and solves the issue of thousands of users by allowing them to book a taxi with only a couple of taps, however, you aren't able to patent it since it's an imitation of Uber. Uber application.

Your App Must Qualify to be Useful

Patented products are not intended to be displayed as exhibits. The goal is to demonstrate their usefulness. Usability could take any kind: entertainment, making life easier, or other advantages.

Patent applications, in a nutshell, must be suitable to be used to serve a purpose. This is a barrier to engaging in patent applications that do not have any usefulness.

In addition, when you file a patent application for an app concept, it is required to specify the type or category of app you've introduced. For example, your app could include one that is a calculator, game of chess, or shopping app.

An “invention”

The primary purpose of patents is to safeguard inventions. They are granted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gives patents to inventions defined as a solution to any issue or problem.

We're all aware that app concepts aren't tangible objects. Therefore, applying this kind of app is classified as an invention. However, the method has to solve an issue to be classified as an invention.

NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreements)

An NDA is a contract signed by all parties you collaborate with within your project, typically between you and the mobile app development company you work with. Legally, it makes them liable to keep your app's ideas and technical details private. This, in turn, secures your app from being used by anyone else.

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The Key Takeaway

It may seem the process of patenting mobile app idea is like a long-winded, tedious process but in the end, patenting your idea is the best option. The protection it provides is as good as the idea itself. Worrying about a duplicate or duplicate app is unnecessary since the power to create is at your disposal.

If you have created an app with mechanisms and functionality that you think is novel and inventive/innovative, consider patenting it. Patenting is a tangled field of law. It is difficult to determine if your invention is patentable and whether it's worth patenting.

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