Use These 5 Practices to Protect Your App Idea

Use These 5 Practices to Protect Your App Idea

Your app idea is your intellectual property and your value to potential licensees.  Once you’ve developed it, you want to be sure that no one else can take it from you and use it as their own.  Here are five ways to keep your app ideas protected.

 

  1. Keep an idea or inventor’s journal.  It sounds simple, but having a paper trail of when you invented the app idea and how it developed can be very helpful if someone claims that the idea is actually theirs.  You can also keep records of when you talk to different companies, important dates, and any important steps along the way to licensing.
  2. Apply for a provisional patent.  This is a legal measure that can protect you in the event someone takes your idea, and it can be very powerful even as a deterrent.  Patents also show potential partners and licensees that you are taking your idea seriously, which will increase your chances of success.  You can apply for a patent through the USPTO Office for $125 or with a tool called Patent Wizard.  Once you’ve applied, write ‘Patent Pending’ on all documents related to your pitch idea to help protect your work and to increase the legitimacy of your idea.
  3. Ask for a non-disclosure agreement before sharing details about your idea.  A non-disclosure agreement is a basic legal document that prohibits the person you’re working with from talking about or sharing your information without your explicit permission.  Most companies will sign these without a problem – be sure to send one over before releasing your full pitch document.
  4. Use a tracking tool like High Rise HQ.  CRM programs like this one are the next step up from a traditional inventor’s notebook, and they will help you keep track of things like emails, phone calls, digital documents, and more related to your idea.  They can also help resolve disputes between you and your partner about past conversations or what was agreed previously.  If you plan on developing multiple projects, High Rise HQ may be worth the investment.
  5. Use your common sense.  If a potential licensee seems untrustworthy for some reason, or if a company refuses to sign your NDA agreement, think about your options and consider whether it’s worth the risk.  The chances of your idea getting stolen or misused are low, but you need to be wary of your communications and partners just in case.

 

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