Mobile app development is a thriving industry that’s expected to top $935 billion in revenue by 2023, according to Statista. Maybe you’ve come up with a great enterprise mobile app idea for your business. Or perhaps your newest brainchild is a unique and innovative app idea that you’re certain will prove very profitable in the app stores. Whatever the case, there are some measures you’ll need to take to protect your app ideas.
We’ve all heard horror stories of clever, innovative individuals who have had their mobile app ideas stolen by unscrupulous developers. It’s essential that you take measures to protect your intellectual property (IP), including your app name and app concept.
Of course, hiring a reputable mobile app development company will go a long way toward helping you avoid this sort of scenario, but you’ll still want to take measures to protect your mobile app idea and other intellectual property, such as the app name and brand identity. Let’s look at a few measures that can help you protect your app, such as app idea NDAs, trademarking and other legal protections.
App Idea NDAs – Non-Disclosure Agreements for Mobile Apps & Other Development Projects
A non-disclosure agreement or NDA serves as an important legal protection for your mobile app concept. An NDA allows you to keep private all discussions about the app concept, trade secrets and any other sensitive or confidential information that could result in losses if that information was disclosed to third-parties.
An NDA is an important protection if you’re considering a few different mobile app development companies and need to disclose sensitive information about your idea, but wish to protect your app concept.
The app non-disclosure agreement will have several key components, including the following:
- A definition of the mobile app concept and any additional ideas, trade secrets or other sensitive and confidential information that is covered by the NDA;
- An overview of which parties with whom an individual is permitted to discuss the mobile app concept and other sensitive information;
- A timeframe of how long the non-disclosure agreement is valid. A timeframe of one to three years is typical, with some app idea NDAs lasting as long as five years. A reasonable timeframe is very important if the NDA is to be enforceable by the courts.
- Permitted use of confidential information details how the party can and cannot use confidential information related to your mobile app idea.
- Jurisdiction should also be specified in the NDA. You’ll need to indicate which court has jurisdiction in the event that legal action is required to address a violation of your app development NDA.
- Potential consequences and the acceptable remedies or solutions should be detailed in the mobile app non-disclosure agreement. This would include compensation, in addition to detailing which party would be responsible for covering the cost of legal fees in the event of an NDA violation.
- A termination clause should also be included in your app development NDA. This section addresses the voluntary termination of the business relationship and how this is to be handled.
There are many mobile app and software development non-disclosure agreement templates online but the best, most effective NDAs are typically drafted by an attorney who can maximize protections, while simultaneously limiting vulnerabilities and liabilities. A poorly-written NDA with unrealistic timeframes or penalties may be tossed out by the courts. Therefore, it’s prudent to seek the assistance of a legal professional who knows how to craft an enforceable non-disclosure agreement with practical terms.
Who Should Sign a Mobile App Development NDA?
In addition to third-party mobile app development companies, there are others who should be required to sign a mobile app idea NDA. This includes staff on your own team who are privy to sensitive information about the app concept, QA testers, beta testers, graphic designers, project managers, business analysts and anyone else who is involved with the project.
In short, if an individual is going to be privy to information regarding your app development project, most attorneys would recommend the use of a non-disclosure agreement to maximize protections.
Trademarking to Protect Your Mobile App Name & Other IP
Trademarks are another important part of the equation for protection of your intellectual property (IP) related to your app idea. A trademark refers to a unique word or symbol that’s used to represent your mobile app, business name or product.
Trademarking allows you to stake a claim to your logo, app name, etc. This is very important because a logo or app name is a central component of your brand identity. If this is compromised and someone else is using the same name / logo, you could be forced to re-brand which can be a costly and challenging process.
Therefore, it’s generally best to secure a trademark at the beginning of the mobile app development process so you can ensure that you have full intellectual property rights to the app name, website URL, logo and branding. By securing a trademark at the beginning of the process, you avoid a scenario where you’re forced to redo your logo, app branding, website design and other brand elements.
These are just some of the efforts that should be undertaken to protect an app idea or software concept. Working with an intellectual property attorney is prudent because an experienced IP lawyer will be familiar with your area’s legal protections. This is even more important if you’re working with a software or mobile app development company that’s located in another state or even another country.
Choosing the Right Software or Mobile App Development Company
At 7T, we take tremendous pride in our ethical approach to software and mobile app development. We understand the need to protect a client’s app idea and as such, we routinely utilize non-disclosure agreements and other measures intended to provide protections to all involved parties.
Whether you’re in need of an enterprise software platform or require help developing an innovative cross-platform mobile app, the team at 7T is happy to assist. We’ve earned a reputation as a top Dallas mobile app development company, with a reputation for developing dynamic mobile apps and innovative software platforms, from CRM platforms and ERP development, to Snowflake data solutions.
At 7T, our development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through digital transformation. We’ve earned a reputation as an innovative Dallas software and mobile app development company, as 7T integrates cutting-edge solutions into virtually every project. We’re here to deliver collaborative, multi-phased software development services to clients in all business sectors.