Mobile App Development

Mastering the Process of Patenting Your Mobile App Idea

  • Published on : September 30, 2023

  • Read Time : 11 min

  • Views : 8.1k


Exploring the world of unlimited opportunities – let’s dive into the realm of mobile app ideas and ignite and secure your creativity!

The ever-expanding app network has unlocked plenty of opportunities for mobile app creators to explore the world of mobile app ideas. The market of mobile apps has become more competitive than ever.

With the notion of artificial intelligence for creating transformative apps in the market, AI mobile app ideas stand out as an edge overflowing with app development potential.

The new-found technology is making waves with innovation in every industry. Wherein, Mobile app development is no different.

Truly, innovative mobile app ideas come to mind every day. But, what if you come to know that someone is claiming that you’ve stolen their mobile app ideas and created a similar application?

It is awful to know the same. You should do something to prevent your app project from being copied or stealing claims.

The best way is to patent your app ideas before you launch your app in the market.

Patenting an app mobile idea will protect your app and give you official rights to exclusive mobile app development. This will allow you to gain profit from your creation.

Let’s read what is a patent, the process and benefits of patenting an app idea, and understand the basics of the patent in this post.

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What is a Patent?  

W.r.t to mobile apps, a patent is a legal protection or an intellectual property that grants mobile app developer exclusive rights to their mobile app development for a definite time of 20 years approximately. These exclusive rights include the right to use, make, use, sell, and license the invention.

Patenting an application involves the features that an app will have after release, UI/UX details, and algorithms that will make it unique and innovative.

Getting a patent for an application is a strategic effort that helps to protect your app’s intellectual property. This will also prevent others from copying or using the patented technology without permission.

The process of patenting an application is complex and requires consultation with a patent attorney. A patent attorney will guide you all through how to patent an app idea, app patenting process, app licensing and generating ROI for your business.

Patenting your mobile app idea provides numerous benefits. We’ve covered the top of them. Have a look.                          

Benefits of Patenting an App Idea

  • Legal Protection to App –

    A patent prevents others from making, using, or selling your app without your permission, protecting your intellectual property from unauthorized use.

  • No Monopoly While App Launching –

    You gain a competitive advantage by having exclusive rights to your app, which can help you direct the market and generate revenue.

  • Full License to Prevent Unauthorized Use –

    You can license your patented mobile app to others, allowing them to use it in exchange for licensing fees, royalties, or other terms.

  • Valuable Asset to Customers –

    A patented mobile app can be a valuable asset, potentially attracting investors or buyers who are interested in your intellectual property.

  • Recourse of Taking Legal Action –

    If someone disobey on your patent, you have legal grounds to take necessary action against them, potentially seeking damages or an injunction.

Next, we’ll delve into the steps that will help you patent your app ideas. The core notion to patenting an app idea includes:

  • Understanding the fundamentals of patents and their types that are relevant to mobile apps.
  • Work on your mobile app ideas, conduct research, document ideas, and develop a prototype.
  • Check if the app is eligible for patenting or not.
  • Hire a patent attorney to seek suggestions all through the patenting process.
  • Draft a complete patenting app and file it to the patent office.
  • Give a proper response to the office’s actions and maintain your patent with nominal maintenance charges.
  • Impose your patent rights when needed to safeguard your intellectual property.

Let’s read these steps in detail below and master how to patent an app idea:

How to Patent a Mobile App Idea?

1. Do In-depth Research Online

By doing in-depth research on your mobile app ideas and how to build a mobile app, you can find out if similar mobile app creations already exist or if your app idea is novel in the market.

If you find a similar mobile app, you rethink on your idea and secure a patent. You can hire a skilled patent searcher to assist you in patent search your app idea or also search on online databases such as United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

2. Make Detailed Document of Your App Idea

Making detailed document of your app idea help ease the complex app patenting process.                

  • Complete Description of App-Write a comprehensive description of your mobile app, including its features, functionality, and how it solves a specific problem or improves upon existing solutions.
  • Visual Representation of App-Add flowcharts and diagrams of your app’s architecture, user interface, and how different components interact can be helpful.
  • Append Wireframe & Screenshots-Illustrating UI/UX becomes easy with app sketches, wireframes or screenshots.
  • Write Code Snippets (if applicable)-If you’ve some code snippets or app algorithms, you can write about them in the document.

3. Develop an App Prototype   

Developing an app prototype can be helpful in patenting your mobile app idea.

An app prototype validates that your mobile app idea is not just an abstract; it has practical significance. This also helps in understanding the functionality and challenges of your application.

4. Process Your Patent Application

To process your patent application, you need to determine eligibility, choose a patent, and hire a patent attorney to help you out with the complex process.

  • Determine App Idea’s Eligibility All mobile app ideas are not eligible for patent protection. Your application should be novel among existing applications, have non-obvious features, and be practically feasible.  
  • Choose the Right Patent: According to the functionality of your mobile application, you must decide whether to trail a software patent or utility patent. Software patents are good for protecting software-related inventions, and utility patents are for more challenging and broader app protection.
  • Hire a Patent Attorney: A patent attorney provides legal advice in the whole process to patent an app idea. He/she will help you understand eligibility and patentability criteria, navigate office actions from patent examiners, and draft an app that maximizes the chances of approval.                                                

5. Drafting & Submitting the Patent Application

For drafting the patent application, you need to get help from your patent attorney. He/she will help summarize your mobile app creation, give proper app description including functionality, components and features that make it exclusive from other existing apps in the market.

After completing your patent application, it’s time to submit the application of patenting to the appropriate patent office. Typically, it is done through the USPTO in the United States.

Be cautious while filing fees and doing documentation, it varies by jurisdiction. You should discuss this with your patent attorney and make sure a smooth submission.

6. Wait for Exam & Acknowledge to All Office Actions

Once you file the process of patent application, you have to wait for an examination for a certain time period. This will take around a few months to several years to complete the examination.

For example, a social media giant – Mark Zuckerberg had to wait for around 6 years to get a patent for a Facebook application.

This shows that the time required for patent approval is based on the revisions as well as rejections. However, you must maintain all the records of correspondence and actions related to your mobile app ideas.

Patent examiners might ask for further details or clarifications to address their concerns or amend your claim. Take help from your patent attorney to respond to these office actions.

7. Patent Grant for Mobile App Idea

Once your mobile app idea is granted a patent, you must pay maintenance fees to keep it in force. You need to pay fees at a fixed regular time period. If you fail to pay maintenance fees, it results in the patent expiring and ultimately, you will lose your patent rights.

With a granted patent, you have the legal authority to enforce your exclusive rights. For example; if anyone uses your patented mobile app without your permission, you have the rights to take legal action against them.

You can send cease or suspend letters, negotiate on licensing agreements, or pursue litigation if necessary.

You can’t overlook that enforcing a patent can be a complex and costly process. So, wisely consider your choice and discuss with your patent attorney before you take any legal action.

Read Also: 100 Profitable Mobile App Ideas for Startups to Invest in 2023

Final Takeaway

Patenting your mobile app idea is a vital step in protecting your intellectual property and potentially profiting from your innovation. While the process can be complex and time-consuming, the rewards of exclusive rights and potential licensing opportunities make it worthwhile.

By mastering the process of how to patent an app idea, you can lock your place in the competitive app market, potentially generate revenue through licensing, and defend your creation against breach.

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