Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

Protecting an App Concept?

I've spoken with choice individuals, but know that before I begin moving with momentum on my mobile app idea, I need to PROTECT it! How do I go about doing that? I know that I can "Google" it, but I'd like to hear specifically from experienced app founders who have gone through this process. Thank you!

12 Replies

Paul Travis
4
0
Paul Travis Entrepreneur
Multifaceted Online Executor: Product Marketing to Program Mgmt. to Business Development
I am not a lawyer but have been through this process numerous times, Jeanette. There are a number of protections provided by US Federal law: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Trademarks concern the name and copyrights concern mostly written work. The latter is squirrelly enough that I won't even tackle it here.

The first is the only one really worth examining for an app, and there are very clear guidelines as to what qualifies for a patent -- a novel process. It is more likely that a "piece" of your app could be protected by patent than the "entire" thing, and even if you get protection, you have to consider how you'll pay to prosecute an offender.

My recommendation, in Star Trek language: put your energy into the warp drives and create marketplace success, rather than saving energy for your shields.
Jeanette Eng
1
0
Jeanette Eng Entrepreneur
Actress, Host/Producer, Entrepreneur
Yea, after a Google search, I learned that you really CAN'T protect an app idea - rather your energy is best spent on staying ahead of your competitors because you can count on copycats as soon as your app becomes public on the marketplace and then your best tactic is setting your BRAND apart. So, I suppose protecting the name is all I can do and then from there, it's just NDAs and then making the app the best one out there of its kind.
Steve Woll
1
0
Steve Woll Entrepreneur
Applied Meteorology
I talked with an intellectual property lawyer about this about a month ago. According to him, these days, there is a low likelihood that you will successfully obtain a patent on software/apps at the end of the patent review process (1-3 years).

However, he said there still could be some reasons to apply for at least a provisional patent: 1. it may give investors/potential investors some increased confidence knowing that you have taken at least some steps to protect your idea, and 2. being able to say you have a "patent pending" might deter some less-sophisticated competitors from entering the market with a competitive/copycat offering. For us, our assessment was that neither of these were worth the effort, but you might have a different set of circumstances.

Good luck!
Okku Touronen
3
0
Okku Touronen Entrepreneur
Owner at Caprico Coding AB

This is a more general answer, and in my opinion this question is asked to often by people new in startups, not implying that this is the case for you.


Ideas are like seeds, you need to nurture them to make them grow. And ideas are nurtured with work and decisions. To finish the product you need to make hundreds or maybe thousands of decisions, and each little decisions will make a big or small impact on the finished product.


The hard part is not finding the seed, it's making the right decisions to nurture it to a great product.


And to succeed with this you need to build a great team and put a lot of hard work into it.


You mental model of the product you want to create today is not what the finished product will look or function like. It will be something else.


So don't hesitate to talk about your idea, at least with people somewhat close to you. This will not only give you a lot of feedback but also requires you to formulate a pitch that people understand.

Good luck!
Gabor Nagy
0
0
Gabor Nagy Entrepreneur
Founder / Chief architect at Skyline Robotics
I'll second filing a provisional patent application. I just have and working on some more.
It's much easier and cheaper than a full utility patent and you can use the "patent pending" label.
You have a year to decide whether you want to convert it to a full patent (most lawyers will give you a deal if you do provisional first, then convert).

Jeanette Eng
0
0
Jeanette Eng Entrepreneur
Actress, Host/Producer, Entrepreneur
Thanks for all that feedback. I am a leader and community organizer, but indeed, new at entrepreneurship involving investors. It was my potential investor, actually who warned me to stop talking and protect the idea. However, gathering from the feedback here and knowledge that there is no unequivocal protection for apps, protection looks like it will come in the form of NDAs, trust/ good judgement, and a partial patent/ patent pending. If you could so indulge me, after doing so yourself, how do you advise filing for a provisional patent?

PS: It seems, from my research, that the name and logo are protect-able - is that worth doing and if so, what's your advice on the best way to do that? Thanks!
Joanan Hernandez
1
0
Joanan Hernandez Entrepreneur
CEO & Founder at Mollejuo
PS: It seems, from my research, that the name and logo are protect-able - is that worth doing and if so, what's your advice on the best way to do that?

Sure! Be sure to balance out, the cost. Depending on where you decide to develop the app, it might be cheaper to develop the app than to 'protect it'. Anyhow, just a simple domain parking will help you. Once the product takes traction, then you can go andregister the trade mark, which give you some sort ofprotection in some countries, but not the ones where your concept likely might becopycat.

Don'tdwell and spend a lot of effort on protection. Spend that effort on developing the product and leaving your competition behind. Facebook wasn't the first social network.

All the best!

Cheers!
Shell Mendelson, Entrepreneur
0
0
Executive Dream Designer specializing in coaching Adults with ADHD✔Create and Design a Happy Work/Life
It is important, in my opinion, to at least trademark the name and image and get the .com if possible to start. The name itself can be a hornets nest. Someone said to send a copy of the idea back to yourself and file it away unopened with a date stamp. I did that. Then all the other possibilities like filing a provisional patent, NDAs etc come into play. These are easy and inexpensive first steps. I too am dealing with all of these things re my app concept. I appreciate this conversation.
Dirk de Kok
1
0
Dirk de Kok Advisor
Founder and CTO Mobtest
A trademark for your name and log via USPTO is easily filed, you can do that yourself.

That said, the success of your company and app will be 5 % idea, and 95 % execution. Being open about your idea will get you valuable feedback, and this should outweigh the negative of a slight chance that somebody is willing to drop what they are doing and steal your idea.
Scott McGregor
1
0
Scott McGregor Entrepreneur • Advisor
Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.
Get "Patent Pending in 24 hours". Read the book. Write a draft provisional patent Application. If you have money, have a patent lawyer take your draft and build the patent application you want. If you don't have money file your own provisional application pro se. Scott McGregor, [removed to protect privacy], (408) 505-4123 Sent from my iPhone
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?