How to Patent an App Idea (A Complete Guide)

August 9, 2021

how to patent an app idea

Finding a new app idea is like finding a new gem.

When it comes to an app invention idea, this is correct. You need an innovative app to attract more clients in today’s market, which is more competitive than ever.

Now, it’s natural to be concerned, and rightly so, that someone else may attempt to claim that application by developing a similar one.

People frequently wonder, “Can you patent an app?” Yes, app invention ideas can be copyrighted and patented. It is possible to patent an app idea.

Having your mobile application patented before formally releasing it to the market and possible investors will help safeguard your product from being copied. All questions were answered relating – can you patent an idea for an app.

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Detailed procedure on how to patent an App idea

Find a patent attorney and hire them

You must consult with and engage a software patent attorney if you want to offer an app invention idea and boost your chances of getting your patent application selected.

It is better to employ a professional than to try to do it yourself because it is a legal process that may include litigation. It’s not a good idea to hire the first lawyer you find. Do your research properly to patent an app idea and get the finest deal within your price range.

Disclosure of a mobile app invention

Having a great app invention idea is only the half battle

To continue with this quote, one must convert the idea into reality to demonstrate its feasibility, which is a major condition for eligibility to patent an app idea.

You must document the entire development process since the court requires tangible proof of your innovation to grant a patent against your application. You may also use a prototype to break out the flow of your application. Because it is the functionality and procedures of the programme that are patented, rather than the code, this will greatly assist your attorney in figuring out the flowchart of your software.

This is useful for determining the varied implications of your app in various businesses, as well as giving you a fresh perspective on what additional aspects of your mobile app patent example.

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Practice patent research

Even if you’ve done your research, hiring patent attorneys to do a worldwide search for applications that are comparable to yours or have similar functions or flows is always a good idea to avoid unintentional infringement from other organizations.

Apply for a provisional or non-provisional patent

Provisional and non-provisional patent applications are the two forms of patent applications you can employ for your mobile app.

One of the most typical types of app patent applications is a provisional application. You can file a provisional application without a formal patent declaration, claim, or even an information disclosure statement. Provisional patent for an app is also considered in certain circumstances. The following are some of the advantages that this application type provides:

  • It gives you a year to create your MVP.
  • Allows for the use of the word “patent pending” in the app.
  • Preparation costs are lower than for non-provisional applications.

Non-provisional Application: It can be submitted without making any claims on an application filed in the convention nation or without a reference to an application that is already being processed in the office. It must be backed by a detailed claim as well as specifications.

It should include a written description of the invention as well as a claim that describes it legally.

Read More : 9 Signs You Need Help With Mobile App DevelopmentYou must ask these questions to choose one.

  • How quickly would you like your patent to be granted?
  • How long would you like to postpone the cost of the patent examination?
  • Can you patent an idea for an app?

Non-provisional is the ideal option if your requirements point to the first question. If this is not the case, then a provisional patent application, as opposed to a non-provisional patent application, should be filed.

There are several iOS app development companies in India that are engaged in this procedure.

create your app into reality

Submit Application

This is the last step in the process of patenting a concept. You must file a patent application with the USPTO once you have completed all of the above processes and have created a patent application. Although this is a time-consuming process with a lot of paperwork, you must complete it. The following are some of the crucial documents you may need during the process:

  • Oath/Declaration\sSpecification
  • Information Disclosure Statement for Entity Status Form
  • Data Sheet for the Application (ADS)
  • Claims\s(optional) Treaty on Patent Cooperation (for International Filings)
  • Drawings\s(optional) Cover Sheet for Special Fee Sheet Application
  • Cover Sheet
  • Fee Sheet

Let’s move on to the prerequisites for patenting an app now that we’ve covered how to patent an idea.

Requirements for – How to Patent an App Idea

The three main factors that will be used to evaluate your application are largely the same across all nations about patent app ideas. These are the same factors that would determine whether or not a patent app idea should be patentable.

The first stage was to determine whether the patent claim comprised an abstract concept such as a calculation method, algorithm, or another general principle. The operation would continue to the next phase if it had. If the claim did not meet the other two conditions, it was considered potentially an app invention idea.

The court had to determine if the patent claim added “anything extra” to the abstract notion than what already existed in the second step. And it may be an “innovative notion.” If the answer is negative, the notion is considered invalid.

The third, and perhaps most challenging, the requirement is that the mobile app should be obscure. Meaning, if your project consists solely of the integration or amalgamation of pre-existing technologies that have been marginally updated but lack any original trait or capability, it will not be approved.

To address the question, “How much does it cost to patent an app?” We’d suggest it varies depending on the sort of patent application you file. Furthermore, there are a few fundamental fees that you must pay while filing an app patent application. This is the clarification on how to register an app idea.

  • Patentability: $202
  • Complete Drafting: $471
  • Complete Filing: $21-
  • Early Publication: $34/-
  • Request for Examination: $53.85- (Govt fee), Rs $40/- (Attorney fee)
  • First examination report from drafting and filing response- $269.94
  • Hearing (per hearing) if notification received from govt: $369.54

Now that we’ve looked at how much does it cost to get a patent on an app and how to secure one, it’s time to look at how long it will take to finish the entire process.

Frequently, applications are refused, and resubmissions are required. Depending on the conditions, this back and forth process can run anywhere from 4 to 6 years.

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Why Not Every App Owner Should Patent Their App?

While it is made to appear that patenting is necessary, it is not. Let’s go over some of the difficulties you should be aware of if you decide to pursue a patent for mobile application.

1.  Patents tend to obstruct access to essential resources.

Patents have a stifling influence on both personal and corporate resources, which startups must be wary of. Among them are:

Cost to patent an app requires a huge amount of money. When combined with legal fees, this can financially cripple a firm, pushing it into the red zone on the profit and loss statement.

Time – getting a patent requires a significant amount of time, which can range from several months to even years. Allocating this bandwidth requires a significant amount of time and effort away from the app idea’s execution.

2. There is no guarantee of safety.

The situations of patent infringement are highly precise. Even the most stringent agreement may not be able to give you the security you require in the event of a violation. A patent will be of little use in circumstances where rip-offs make minor changes to the app to make it appear new — in those cases, a patent will be of little value.

3. Businesses tend to enhance their initial concepts.

A startup’s aim and concepts will inevitably shift. The issue is that patents often only protect the first level of inventions, not further iterations. This means that if a company pivots or just updates its application, it will have to re-file for patents.

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Alternatives to Patents on Apps

1. Copyright an app idea:

The discussion over whether to use copyright or a patent has been going on for a long time. Copyright, like patents, is a sort of IPR, although it’s a little different and anyone can copyright an app idea. It is a set of rights granted to the creator or author of any work, whether literary, artistic, educational, musical, or computer programmes, allowing them to publish or reproduce their work, make derivatives, and so on, regardless of whether the work has been published or not.

It safeguards the expression of ideas rather than the ideas themselves on can you copyright an idea for an app. As a result, in our instance, you can only copyright your app logo, not the app itself, because it does not cover facts, concepts, systems, or operating techniques. This is the absolute answer for can you copyright an app and can you copyright an idea for an app.

2. Use a trademark

Patents prevent others from creating or selling the protected innovation, but a trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, logos, or other devices used to identify the originator’s goods or services from being used by competitors. As a result, a trademark can be filed for your app’s logo to prevent competitors from copying it and confusing consumers.

3. Non-disclosure agreement (Non-Disclosure Agreements)

The NDA is a contract that is signed by all parties involved in your project, usually you and your mobile app development business. It legally obligates them to keep your app’s concept and technical details private.

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To conclude this article, mobile applications are patentable (not just a patent idea, there should be tangible proof of the project). It also relies on the requirements, as described earlier in the article, whether or not you should consider patenting your mobile app. In any scenario, app patent protection for your intellectual property is tenacious, as it protects your application for up to 20 years against duplication, unauthorised use, and other issues.

Inventors should keep in mind that ideas often crystallise during the application process, according to Indapoint which is a best mobile app development company in India. As you face challenges and figure out how to overcome them, you’ll have a greater understanding of the specifics needed in putting your idea into action. As a result, your chances of acquiring a patent will be significantly increased. All questions were answered in this article on the question of can you patent an app concept.


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