Should I patent or copyright a mobile app idea?

An app idea is very important in the life of a creator. For example, an innovative idea can turn your life around. So, you must take every possible step to ensure that your idea is protected. Now comes the hard part; many people don’t know the difference between patents and copyright. They often make the wrong choice and end up losing control over their application or app idea. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the perfect way to protect your app idea.

Various legal ways to protect an app idea

Before you decide the best legal way to protect your idea, you must be familiar with the most popular ones. So, let us take a look at some of them:


Copyright helps to protect the original works of a creator. Originally, it was used to protect books, songs, documents, etc. However, you can also use it to protect the source code of your app. Thus, you can use copyright to secure the primary data of your app. In the later part of the article, we will also discuss how to copyright an app idea legally.


A trademark is a legal way to identify a part of your creations as your own. For instance, if you trademark your app logo, name, or description, no other creator can use it. Thus, you will have sole control over the application’s parts and the market that it is meant for.


A patent is a time-limited way to reserve your property legally. Initially, it is valid for 20 years, but you can renew it after that. Originally, the patent was used to safeguard property, invention, or a piece of art. However, you can use a patent to protect your app as well. For instance, if you are sure that it has a unique concept, code, and looks, you can apply for a patent on your app idea.

The first step to protect your app idea

In the initial phases of the development process, you have to interact with various people. Furthermore, you have to share your app details with developers, investors, and many others to complete the project. Thus, there is a high risk that your concept’s vital details might get leaked in the open market. So, the first step of security is to sign a non-disclosure agreement with all of your investors and creators. This agreement will allow you to control the data that these people will share related to your project.

Crucial facts to consider when you apply for Patent application

Many people often make a crucial mistake and seek protection only for the application. However, it would help if you always remembered that your app might prosper in the future and so you must prepare beforehand. For instance, you should trademark every image, data, and other small details you will use in the application. It will help you seek legal action if any company tries to steal even the slightest data from your dream creation. Furthermore, you must have an experienced attorney and a capable developer team to help with all the legal issues in the present and those that might come in the future.

Patent your app idea

In case you consider your app idea to be unique and revolutionary, you can apply for a patent. It was very easy to file a patent in the early days as every software was unique back then. However, in the present era, the app market is very congested. Thus, it is unlikely to develop a unique app idea, although it isn’t impossible. Furthermore, even if you aren’t sure about your app’s genuineness, it is always better to file a patent application anyhow. The news of your patent application will keep competitors away from stealing your app idea. Thus, you will get enough time to develop it.

How to Copyright an App Idea

Copyrighting is the easiest and popular way to protect your app idea. Before we discuss how to copyright an app idea, you have to verify whether your application is unique. A basic way to verify this is to check whether you own every part of your application’s code. Upon verifying that you have written the code yourself, you are free to file for a copyright. Furthermore, if you have used freelancers to write the code, you can use copyright claim documents to get the app’s sole ownership.

The verdict

We can conclude that at a wider vision, copyright, and patent does the same job, protects your app idea. However, many analysts have suggested that it is easier to protect an app than to protect the idea. So, we recommend you develop the app as soon as possible to ensure that it is protected perfectly. Furthermore, it will also help you to market your app and generate revenue from it freely.

Pavan Kumar
Proud organizer. Food nerd. Extreme thinker. Evil alcohol expert. Falls down a lot. Freelance music buff. Explorer.

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