The Smartphone has become indispensable part of our daily routine these days. There are numbers of great mobile apps which have gone on to be great successes in recent years. Instagram and WhatsApp is one of them.Some could say that app development is in its ‘golden age’ right now. The app market is huge, and by next year, there will be almost 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide. By 2020, the app market will be worth an estimated USD$120 billion.With the advent of the mobile technology, mobile app development companies in India also developed to the next level to provide best services to the customers.
With the world becoming more globalized and connected by the internet, what this means as an app developer is that you could be selling your app by the millions all over the world. The fact that there have been so many app successes recently means that app developers are moving fast to create the next big app.
However, it is difficult to come up with a great app like Uber or WhatsApp. That is why, when you browse through the Google play store or Apple app store, you will find app clones, monetizing off the fruits of someone else’s good idea.
Follow these tips to protect your apps from being stolen:
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Share information selectively
- 2 2. Get a non-disclosure agreement
- 3 3. Divide and Rule
- 4 4.Use a Non-Compete Agreement
- 5 5.Register a trademark for your app’s name and logo
- 6 6. Do not forget to consider patent application
- 7 7. Opt for trademarking
- 8 8. Do business with the right people
- 9 9. Document Everything
- 10 10. Limit the Distribution
- 11 Conclusion
You must know that never share your technical detail with your budding brainchild. The foremost and the vital way to protect your mobile app’s idea are to share it cautiously. Even though, it is necessary to share your app’s information such as pitching to clients, sharing technical detail with developers. Furthermore, one thing is clear, the less you reveal your services, the fewer chances; that someone can steal it. This may seem like common sense, but the enthusiasm and excitement may drive you to share your game-changing idea with whoever will listen. The top mobile app development companies provide instructions to keep your app secure.
2. Get a non-disclosure agreement
Creating an app usually isn’t a one-man job. You’ll need a lot of brain power to get it off the ground. You’ll probably need to get some help from, for example, a freelance app developer who already has the technical skills to build something great. But how do you make sure that they keep the project confidential and that they don’t steal your idea after they’ve helped you?
It’s better for your app business if you can speak freely about your vision rather than hiding the small details in the fear that your idea will be stolen.
The best way to do this is to sign a non-disclosure agreement before an app developer starts working on your project. An NDA is a legal contract between two people that states what information will be shared between them and what information will not be shared with other people. The great thing about an NDA is that you will then have peace of mind that your idea or trade secrets will be kept confidential.
3. Divide and Rule
The development process consists of many sub-processes and sub-tasks which can be accompanied by different development teams. When you are looking for Mobile App Developers to change your idea into reality. You choose among various offers. It is not necessary to tell all the information regarding project details to everyone. Just thanks to outsourcing software development you can divide and distribute the development of your project among different teams. It is a good idea to keep secret since the developers even may not completely understand what the product they are developing will look like at the end.
4.Use a Non-Compete Agreement
A Non-compete agreement is basically aimed at keeping people from revealing trade secrets to another, rival company. In essence, it refrains the developers and other professionals who are working on your project from working on any other project that will directly compete with yours. The catch here is that the developers will not work on your competitors’ projects for a certain period of time, even when they have completed work on your project.
This means that they will technically be out of work for that period of time or will not be able to work with clients of their choice and so, a non-compete agreement can add to your expenses. Moreover, it is difficult to find a reputed developer, who is willing to sign such an agreement.
5.Register a trademark for your app’s name and logo
If you browse through the app store, you will find plenty of clones. These clones could be infringing trademark and copyright.
It is potentially straightforward to make a copyright infringement claim if you have two things: copyright ownership and proof that the defendant had access to copy the app and did copy it. The first is easy to demonstrate in a legal battle if you have all the necessary paperwork. However, it is the second part that is often difficult to prove. How can you prove that they copied you?
That is why the best approach is: create a brand identity and protect it by trade mark registration. Usually the brand name and image become the key link between you and your customers. Registering means you can then stop other traders, innocent or rogue, from using the same or similar brand name or logo for your app. Registration typically last for 10 years and can be renewed in perpetuity.
6. Do not forget to consider patent application
The general rule, in the UK and the EU, is that computer software is not patent-able. However, there are a few instances where a computer software has been successfully patented. So, in exceptional circumstances, your app or part of it may fulfill the necessary requirements to get a patent. The best way to find out is by getting in touch with a patent attorney to see if your app meets the necessary requirements to get a patent.
7. Opt for trademarking
Trademarks basically help you restrict others from using the words or symbols such as icons and logos, which is associated with your app or your service. Instead of it, the logo and the icon of your app, you may also want to trademark the name of all the services or features, which your app provides. This step will surely go a long way in deterring your rival companies to take the same route.
Think of some of the top-selling apps of all time like – Instagram, Angry Birds or Vine.
The brand recognition that these apps have is just incredible. You can easily identify these apps merely with the fonts used, the logo and even the typical colors used for branding. Also, many a times, a company’s name are closely associated with its app. For instance, Rovio of Angry Birds is one of the companies, which is recognized far and wide because of its popular game app. Take a cue from them and protect your app’s name and logo from getting fabricated by your competitors by opting for trademark.
The best things trademarks will help out is that they do not let your competitors to copy your products with similar names and logos. It also offers additional protection against potential lawsuits or legal issues.
8. Do business with the right people
Know the people with whom you are conducting your business. Find out whether they had a good repute of working with similar clientele in the past or earned goodwill in the market through their work ethics. It is easy to quickly run a background check of your potential investor, client, contractor or even developer before you even book an appointment with them. Remember, you are going to work in close quarters with many of these people and it is essential that you select only trustworthy people, who will not leak information related to your project or simply takeoff with the idea one fine day.
9. Document Everything
Put each and everything to do with your app in writing. Save all the documentation related to it, however small it maybe. This will give you an upper hand when it comes to proving your stance in the court of law. Document the app’s code, your brainstorming session, minutes of meeting conduct virtually or in person with your consultants, blueprints, the final draft etc. Nothing should go amiss, not even the smallest detail relevant to your app.
10. Limit the Distribution
Once your app is ready to be launched on the market (read app stores), you still have to be careful with it. Steer clear of allowing different app development companies from uploading the app from their account. Instead, set up your own account and use it to upload the app to different app stores available online.
Always keep in your mind that your app idea can be stolen by your competitor. Take the right steps. If your app is so good that it spins a number of similar apps, cleverly disguised as new and innovative apps, you can still make sure that you stay ahead in the game.You can always offer unique updates of your app, which will include these features and functionalities. This leads to a win-win situation for you irrespective of the fact that your app has a few knockoffs on the market.Always discuss your app security if you are hiring best mobile app development company for your project.