How to Patent an App Idea? Complete Legal Guide for 2023
The mind is like a river of ideas. It can appear at any time and from any place. Putting your plan into action before someone else does presents the most significant obstacle. Additionally, this is true for the development of mobile applications with a unique business. It is best to patent the idea and then work on it. So here is the blog on how to patent an app idea if you are totally unaware of the process and fundamentals.
It is best to patent your app idea if you are concerned that someone else may take it and disrupt the market.
Consider patenting your amazing mobile app ideas if you want to keep them private and prevent others from stealing or using them. So, how is the question at hand? This blog lets us learn more about the subject and everything associated with patenting your mobile application.
Additionally, you must ensure that your idea is unique and creative since if it resembles an already existing app, all of your hard work could be for nothing. Developing an app can take several months or even a year or two. Many people come into contact with your concept throughout this extended period, and it is impossible to rule out the chance of misuse completely.
Even if filing for patents requires a lot of work, doing so is necessary if you want to shield your app from imitations on the market. The app market is always growing, and there is more competition than ever. A high-revenue app can be distinguished from a low-revenue app by its time to market. A copycat who steals your idea and releases it before you stands to take a large bite out of your net downloads and potential income, even if your app is the original and better one.
But don’t fret. Similar to how you have insurance for your car and copyrights for your book, you can have patent rights to protect the concepts for your mobile app. In addition, you can protect your mobile app ideas from exploitation by using intellectual property laws like patent, trademark, and copyright laws. So how do you now patent your mobile app concept? The best instructions on how to patent an app idea are provided in this blog. Keep reading to know everything about it.
What Does It Mean – Patent a Mobile App Idea
A patent is a form of intellectual property legislation that can assist you in preventing the unauthorized use of your ideas by others. A patent is necessary to defend a unique app concept from competitors who could try to copy it. Nevertheless, your app idea must be innovative and distinct to be subject to patent law. Any attempt will be ineffective if the idea or concept is a clone or copy of another existing product.
In simple language, an intellectual property law known as a patent is one that:
- Prevents unlawful and non-consensual use of your app concepts.
- You are the legal owner of your app idea; thus, no other companies or people are allowed to change it or sell it.
- Guarantees that no one will profit or lose money by incorrectly attributing your original invention.
Why Should You Patent an App Idea?
The main objective of patenting an app idea is to stop other businesses from stealing your invention and using it for their own gain. So does it make sense to patent an app idea? So let’s think about the following:
Consider the possibility that you developed a prototype of your web or mobile application after coming up with an app idea. You conclude that since this is so distinctive and revolutionary, you want to consider filing for a patent. You should think about things like
- How much does a patent for an app cost?
- Is there enough demand for this app idea to warrant the price?
- Can I go through the application process for a patent?
Remember that the average patent issuance procedure can take two to five years! Since then, a lot of apps have been developed and purchased by significant businesses. Additionally, you can spend a lot of time and money pursuing a patent for an app idea that ultimately fails to gain any momentum with consumers.
Mark Cuban, the multi-billionaire Shark Tank businessman, has a lot to say about software patents in general. He fervently supports software patent elimination and improvements to the patent system. He contends that businesses should welcome competition without worrying about being imitated. After all, not everyone can successfully complete a difficult process like development, and limiting regulations like patents may stifle innovation.
Make wise decisions since if you file a patent, you will be using up crucial time. Instead, Cuban believes you could be better off using your time to carry out your business activities effectively.
The technological world is prone to rapid evolution. Will your app idea still be relevant five years before your patents are filed? What happens if your app is no longer active? What if you pivot, as many businesses do if you’re a startup? Keep in mind that you must pay a maintenance fee for your patent every four years. Before pursuing the legal route to obtain that patent.
How to Patent an App Idea? Fundamental Steps to the Exact Process
One must adhere to a specific process on how to patent an app idea and follow a specific pattern in order to ensure a secure idea until you are ready to launch your application. One can patent an app idea themselves or even can partner with a mobile app development company that ensures such services and make it simple to complete the patenting process and obtain the government’s official seal.
Consult a Patent Attorney
Hiring a patent attorney with sufficient competence in this area is important to obtain a high-end patent and increase the likelihood of your idea being chosen for patenting. Since patenting is an entirely legal process, certain legal steps had to be conducted during the process.
Therefore, the best choice when applying for a patent for your idea is to hire an expert. A few factors need to be considered, such as the law firm’s legitimacy; rather than engaging an agent, one should hire an established, reputable legal office with attorneys specializing in app patenting.
Turn Your Vision into a Reality
It is essential to present solid evidence because the court formally requires it to support your application. The court will then approve a patent against your application after that.
So, if you still need to create an app wireframe or design, get to work on it so you can comprehend how it works. Your lawyer can obtain an app flowchart, thanks to this. Make sure to create a document for your app so you can better explain the concept. This makes it simpler to submit the app’s patent.
You have done enough research to support your app idea. It’s time for the hired patent attorney to do an in-depth patent investigation. So that some problems can be solved and the patent field can be quickly approved.
There are a few measures that one should take when carrying out the patent search, such as researching the patent search method and ensuring the accomplishment of the goals, accurate disclosure, finalisation of the characteristics, and patent classification.
File a Provisional or Non-Provisional Patent Application
There are two types of patent applications,
- Provisional patent application
- Non-provisional patent application
- One of the most popular types of patent applications is the provisional application. You can submit a provisional application in place of a formal patent declaration, claim, or information disclosure statement to get a patent.
- With a written description of the invention and a claim that formally specifies it, you can submit a non-provisional application. To apply for the non-provisional application, you wouldn’t need anything extra.
People typically choose the provisional application if they want affordable services. However, if they wish to have their patent approved more quickly, they will choose a non-provisional patent.
Submit a Patent Application
A provisional or non-provisional application may be submitted. Everything depends on the market size and how original the app idea is. Provisional patent applications are preferable if you need prior patenting because they are quicker than non-provisional ones.
Referencing a thorough description is essential when submitting a patent application. The following actions must be taken to submit the application:
- App abstract
- Fee sheet
- Declaration of oath
- Data disclosure statement
It would help if you determined the patent application type by considering how long you want to postpone paying for the patent text and how soon you want your patent to be approved.
Submission of the Application
The hardest part of the procedure of how to patent an app idea is submitting it after filling out the application form and providing details. The entire procedure is time-consuming, stressful, and involves numerous legal formalities. Therefore, many entrepreneurs are looking for alternatives such as trademarks, copyright, non-disclosure agreements, etc.
How Much Does It Cost to Patent an App Idea?
Let’s wrap off this essay by briefly outlining the fees and processing times involved with U.S. patent applications. Besides the entire cost to build an app, including the patenting fees too, as we see, patenting an app idea is quite important.
Be sure to refer to this list for a detailed description of the costs associated with submitting a patent application, as the USPTO provides it. The following are some of the most typical non-legal expenditures that investors spend when filing patent applications with the USPTO:
- Basic app patent filing fees: $70-$280
- Patent search fees: $150-$600
- 3.5 Patent maintenance fees: $400-$1600
- 7.5-year maintenance: $900-$3600
- 11.5-year maintenance: $1850-$7400
These price ranges are based on the USPTO’s classification of applicants as “big entities,” “micro entities,” or “small entities,” each of which is subject to lower application fees (sources: 1, 2).
Based on their experiences working with customers who have mobile apps, Richards Patent Law gives the following information regarding the average legal costs related to filing patent applications:
- Provisional application for patent preparation: $2,500–5,000
- Non-Provisional application for patent preparation: $10,000–15,000
This was all about the cost. If you want to know how much time it takes. Then let us tell you in brief. The minimum time required to patent an app idea is three to four years. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg had to wait six years after the USPTO rejected his initial patent application before it was ultimately approved in 2012.
Mobile app concepts are distinctive and worthwhile, to sum up. However, nobody enjoys it when their original concepts are credited to other people or organizations because it smells of manipulation. Therefore, in the blog, we have covered every essential point on how to patent an app idea that would help you secure your business idea, and you can work on the development process without any insecurities.
If you have an idea and need to develop app, Elluminati is a mobile app development company that works with various industries to execute their vision in to a reliable and flexible mobile solution, and will serve you with all your complex requirements.