How to Patent your Mobile App?
It often might be the case that you have a brilliant mobile app idea, and you don’t want anyone to emulate it. You could simply do a thing! That is to patent it. But to patent your application, you would need to know everything about the mobile application. In fact, you need to know everything so well, that you could teach a layman how to build it right from the building blocks. Maybe patents take up a lot of hard work, and they are actually very tiresome, yet they tend to protect your application from the thousands of market copycats who are waiting to simply de-engineer your application, copy it, and then sell it out in the market again. This is a never-ending cycle of frauds, and it stops it, there should be one thing that has to be done – patenting.
Now for the act of patenting, the application must be unique in itself. It cannot bewitch crush where you match similar witches and win the game, because that already exists in the form of candy crush. It cannot be a counterfeit that would be heavily disguised in hope that it shouldn’t be caught – no that doesn’t work that way. The idea should be very original and unique like Instagram is unique.
Can Applications be Really Patented?
Once one understands what the patent stands for, this question is easily resolved. There is a difference between patenting technology and copyrighting. While the code gets protected by copyright law, the technology could come under the patent. The entire method of developing this application can be protected under patent rights. Even the articles of manufacture, the machines and other innovations that you include can be patented too. The characters of the application ( if it is a game) – they can be copyrighted. Meaning the entire thing can come under several layers of protection. One simply needs to understand the basic difference between these two protections, and then proceed accordingly.
What About the Eligibility of Your Application?
Your application needs an eligibility criterion to be patented. The patents authority does not patent anything that people apply for. The first thing that has to be cross-referenced is if someone else has saved up on the same application. Check up the websites of USPTO or the US Patent & Trademark Office. That will help you to understand if previous work has been done on the similar kind of application that you are talking about. Conduct a simple patent search, look around for similar keywords and you’ll find it straight.
It isn’t that once granted a patent you might be ruling over the rights forever – it might happen that later it be discovered some other company had filed for a similar patent much earlier, and later it has come to the court. You then stand to be liable for being charged for patent infringement. If you want to avoid these circumstances – cross check your references. Also, it has to be that patenting the idea in itself isn’t enough. It has to be that you have to patent how it works – meaning the entire technology behind it. This would include a list that you cannot patent – which includes pre-existing mathematical equations, laws that violate that of physics, etc.
Most importantly, your application must have a unique feature. It has to be novel for even those who are qualified in that state of the art. Those who are well versed in technology must have also never heard about your application. It has to be compulsorily new, novel, or a complete innovation or invention. It cannot be a counterfeit in any way. It is way obvious that you can’t patent anything that is already existing in the market.
The other criteria that are most difficult to keep up with are that of being non-obvious – the application has to be not known to the people who are experts in the field. So you cannot have something basic that others in your field know of regularly. Your patent will be verified by people in your subject, so your application will be immediately canceled.
This is somewhat an abstract clause and causes the most dispute between the patent examiner and the applicant. Often patents are canceled on this basis. Most importantly, your application has to be useful. This is a must goal. If your application isn’t doing anything fruitful, there is nothing that can be done. It is immediately disposed of. The patent needs you to be making something useful. Simply stating that it is helping you to entertain people won’t work. It has to serve some purpose.
The Process of Filing the Patent
The entire procedure is extremely tiresome. First, the provisional patent is filed for. This is when you can fix a date as to when you will submit the entire application. Till this stage, you need to at least write in theory the details of what your application should be able to do, what would be the application of your app, how is it going to function, how are you programming it, etc. there should be drawing, flow charts, visuals, or whatever deemed necessary for your application. This is a very crucial step – based on this your patent hearing date will be finalized. You don’t need to submit your application incompletion at this stage. There is a one-year standing time wherein you can work on your application and see if it reaches the completion status.
This date of filing this provisional patent is important – if later someone contests you at court that this app has been patented by them, you would be simply be given preference because you have filed the application first. Based on that, you can sue the other company too.
Filing the patent needs some finance, according to the brackets. You will be required to pay that fee. After this, within 1 year, you have to file a regular patent. Your app will now be required to be submitted to the board. There will be a lot of things that need to come into consideration, which includes, specifications, drawings, claims, abstract etc.
Based on these, your application will be evaluated and you will be given the ultimate authority over your mobile app.