How to Protect Your Brilliant App Idea from Being Stolen

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Over the past decade, mobile apps have been growing in popularity. Majority of the businesses have gone mobile, why? Because businesses want to be where their audience is. Evidently, the mobile app market is growing and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop trending any time soon. In fact, statistics reveal that users prefer to use mobile apps as compared to websites. Have a look at the graph below:

The number of mobile app downloads reached 194 billion in just a few years. These statistics are driving businesses and entrepreneurs to hire custom mobile app development companies to develop mobile apps that convert. It is evident that the mobile app industry holds immense potential for businesses of all types.

If you’re someone that’s been thinking about expanding your business with the help of mobile apps, I’m sure that you’ve been thinking of an app idea. You would definitely want to launch a unique mobile app with flawless functionality, features, and phenomenal user experience.

Set the development process aside, the initial step is to come up with an app idea and to protect it from being stolen. You might come up with an amazing app idea but later on, you might come across an app just like yours becomes got to developing it before you even started. There is a lot of competition in the mobile app market, and we are all aware that when it comes to ‘money’, people will do anything to hit the jackpot.

You might hold the perception that only investors, startups, and other developers can steal your idea, however, even your family, friends, and other people that you interact with can become the threat as well.
There are a handful of measures that you can take to ensure that no one steals your app idea. I’ve taken the time to do some research and compile these preventive measures. Let’s dig into it.

Protective Measures for Your App Idea

Choose Trustworthy Partners

The very first and most important thing that you can do to protect your app idea is to not share it with anyone. That random person you meet at the bar might seem like he’s not interested in your project at all, but, who knows, he could turn out to be your direct competitor. Furthermore, even if you have someone that you can trust with all your heart, try not to share every single detail of your project. The less information you provide, the less is the chance of it getting stolen.

Now let’s talk about the developers.

Software engineers and developers are people that you just have to share your ideas with. But, some of these developers can turn out to be unreliable. The best way to handle this issue would be to carefully select your development team. Here are some key elements that you should keep in mind while hiring a development team:

Their Experience: Look into their experience and their portfolio. See if they have worked on similar projects before
Their Website: If you’re hiring a team and not just a freelancer, make sure that you go through the company’s website.
Reviews and Ratings: Check out the reviews and ratings from their previous customers.
Platform: Instead of going on a developer’s search from scratch, you can use reputable platforms like GoodFirms and Clutch.

Never Forget to Use Non-Disclosure Agreements

After you have shared your app idea with software engineers and developers, make sure that they don’t reveal it to others. How can you do?
By using a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

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This agreement will ensure that the information that you’ve shared remains confidential between you and the company. It’s very important that you protect your idea from being shared by the people that are working on your project.

No matter what type of business you have, or what type of app idea you have, NDA will ensure protection for all your ideas. However, don’t forget that some inexperienced and unprofessional companies may show hesitation while signing the agreement, so it’s important you hire a professional team that is reliable to work with.

If developers violate the NDA agreement, they will have to bear financial responsibility and the client can take the matter to the court and get it approved that their information was stolen.  

Always Copyright Your App

When it comes to protecting any form of property, I’m sure that the first thing that pops up in your mind is ‘copyright’. Copyright is the legal right of a person who has created a product. Copyright determines ‘if’ and ‘how’ your work can be used by others. You might be confused as to how copyright can be used to protect your ‘app idea’, well it’s not exactly possible to copyright your app idea. However, you can use it to protect a mobile that already exists. This will protect your app’s user interface as well as the source code.

The advantage that copyrighting has over other methods is that it is comparatively less costly. It provides essential protection against thieves that directly copy your mobile app.

A Trademark is Essential

If you thoroughly thought out your app idea, then I’m sure that you’ve also been coming up with some engaging app names. Naming your app sounds like an easy task, but it’s actually a pretty difficult task, it takes time to come up with an engaging app name.

You can protect your app’s name by opting for a trademark. In simple words, a trademark is a symbol, name, or a word that is used to indicate the source of goods and to distinguish them from other products. A trademark can be used to prevent other people from using your app’s name

Apply for a Patent

A patent is a government-issued license that confirms the right of an invention to the inventor. This patent is issued by the United States Patent and Trademark office. A patent will give you the complete right to exclude others from trying to duplicate, use, or sell your invention.

Patenting is considered to be the strongest measure for protecting your property. So if you’ve already developed your mobile app, it would be clever to apply for its patent. Even though patenting is the best method to protect your mobile app, it has a few downsides. It’s a time-consuming and costly process and you have to prove that your product is useful and not just a novel idea. I would suggest that you start the patenting process as soon as you have developed your mobile app and hire a reputable attorney that can help prevent your app from being stolen.

Final Thoughts:

If someone wants to copy your mobile app then that’s amazing. It means that your mobile app holds potential in the app market. But, it also means that you should do all it takes to prevent your superb app idea from being stolen. I know that protecting your app idea isn’t an easy task, and I’ve experienced this first-hand. None the less, it’s important that you take all the necessary measures to prevent your app idea from being stolen.

I hope that this article will prove useful for protecting your app, if you’d like to share something or if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

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