Let’s face it, mobile apps are where the money is these days. As a case in point, investors are touting the Snapchat Mobile app as being worth $10 billion!
Should you patent your mobile app idea?
Mobile apps are especially prone to replication and if you have a good mobile app idea, chances are your idea is going to be ripped off, modified, repackaged and resold potentially in a matter of months.
As such, if you have a good mobile app idea, it is important that you consider patent protection for the app. As a general rule, we say that if you believe you would be able to make more than
$10,000 from the mobile app idea, then patent protection is worthwhile. For example, if you were to launch the app, how many app sales would you be able to make? Alternatively, would you be able to seek investment?
If you believe you would be able to make more than $10,000 from the mobile app idea, then patent protection is worthwhile
Patent protection can also significantly reduce your app development costs. In Australia, app developers routinely quote between $30-100,000 for coding up a mobile software application. However, with patent protection you can reduce or eliminate these costs.
For example, having filed a patent application, you may be able to form a joint venture partnership with the developer wherein, the developer develops the app in exchange for “sweat equity”.
Patent protection can also significantly reduce your app development costs
Alternatively, using your patent application you may be able to obtain investment funding for the development of the app.
Are mobile apps patentable?
It is important to note that not all software is patentable and patent protection for mobile app ideas is a constantly evolving field of patent law. For example, if the examiner were to believe that your software was simply a business method or an abstract concept simply being performed by a standard computing device, your patent application may be refused.
Not all software is patentable
As such, when patenting your mobile app idea, it is vital that you utilise a patent attorney who specialises in software who can prepare your patent specification in the technically correct manner.
At Patentec, we have patent attorneys who have previously worked in industry as software developers and have previously patent protected technology for tech giants such as Google, Nokia and IBM. We therefore understand the technical aspects required of patent specifications to provide adequate patent protection.
Specifically, our patent attorneys will prepare your patent specification from a technical perspective so as to maximise the chances of your software being considered patentable during examination.
Our patent attorneys also claim your mobile app idea from differing perspectives so as to increase the enforceability of your patent against differing actors. For example, we may claim your mobile app idea from the perspective of:
- the computer implemented method which is a broad technology agnostic claim so that your patent may be used against those who essentially perform the same method, even while using different technology platforms
- a server computing device so as to find direct infringement against the provider of Web-based computer software;
- the client computing device, so as to find direct infringement against the consumer using their mobile phone; and
- the computer readable storage medium, so as to be able to find infringement for copies of the software, including those stored in apples App Store, for example.
As such, if you have a mobile app idea which you believe is commercially viable, speak to a software patent attorney to protect your app idea before launch.