A lot of new start-up businesses are focused on developing Apps for the smartphone marketplaces such as the Apple™ App Store or Google Play™. The cost of setting up these businesses is generally low and the returns can be great. Alder IP is often called upon to advise people and new businesses about protecting new Apps using patent protection.
One method of protecting your intellectual property in your App may be to protect the concept through patent protection. To obtain a registered Patent, your App needs to be new (this means that no-one else has published or disclosed the same idea) and inventive (this means that your invention needs to be a non-obvious improvement above existing technology.
For patents relating to Apps and digital technology, the inventive step requirement may be difficult to establish and it is usually critical that you talk to a patent attorney to ensure that your invention is disclosed in a way that highlights the inventiveness of your App technology.
When filing for a patent application relating to App technology, you will also need to carefully consider which countries you require patent protection in. It is important to note that there is no such thing as a worldwide patent rather you will need to file a separate application in each application. A patent attorney can manage the process for you.
Every country you choose to seek patent protection increases the cost. For App Technology based inventions, we generally recommend filing in Australia and USA. Other countries to consider include: China, Europe, and Canada.
When filing in Australia, an Innovation Patent is good way of protecting your App technology. The Innovation Patent has reduced examination requirements and processing. The inventive step requirement for a patent is replaced with an Innovative Step. The Innovative Step test is not much more difficult than the newness test (novelty).
Unfortunately, the innovation patent application is not available international and in USA, you will generally have to apply for a standard patent application.
Some countries have similar low requirements patent applications called Utility Models or Petty Patent Applications. For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact Alder IP