How to Protect Your Mobile Application
Using Intellectual Property Law
There were once only 500 apps on the first release of Apple’s App Store in 2008. As of 2019, phone users have the option to download between 2.6 million Android, and 2.2 million Apple iOS apps. Due to the popularity and extremely competitive nature of the mobile application industry, it is crucial that mobile app creators protect their creations through intellectual property law.
That being said, there is no legal protection for ideas. Trademark and copyright grant mobile app creator’s protection in the expression of their ideas, the app itself, in order to prevent others from infringing and profiting from their work. Below are two effective legal ways to protect your mobile application from potential infringers.
Copyright Your Source Code
Mobile apps are software applications that are each designed with a unique source code. The source code itself is a set of human-readable instructions that specify the actions to be performed by a computer or phone. A source code can be copyrighted because it is an original work of authorship designed by the app creator, fixed in a tangible medium.
Registering your source code with the U.S. Copyright Office serves two purposes: 1) It serves as notice to fellow app creators that you own the work registered, and 2) You have legal standing to raise an issue of infringement in Federal court. Additionally, app creators who register their source code with the Copyright Office are entitled to collect monetary damages from an infringing party, should the app creator prevail in an infringement action.
Trademark Your App’s Name, Logo, or Slogan
It is common practice for app creators to trademark the name and brand while the app is in its developmental stages. Obtaining a trademark on a brand helps tremendously in controlling consumer perception, because app creators are publicly able to distinguish their app from other apps available on the market. A registered trademark grants an app creator the exclusive right to use the registered mark in connection with the goods, or services, provided by the app.
Whether you create or develop apps yourself, or are in need of an app for your business, keep in mind that mobile apps require legal protection. If you are looking to protect your mobile app, or need help enforcing your registering trademark or copyright, contact a Florida Trademark or Copyright Attorney today at 305-374-8303 to discuss your rights.