Should I patent my mobile app?

Should you protect your mobile app with a patent? Before starting the process, here are a some key concepts to take into consideration.

Have you come up with the next million dollar app but are unsure on how to protect it?

Mobile app development has become extremely popular worldwide, with the right app bringing in substantial revenue. Australia is no different and start-ups across the country are in pursuit of the perfect concept. However, app design must be protected by patents in the same manner as other innovations are in order to protect them from potential infringement.

Smartphone popularity rising 

With Facebook recently acquiring mobile messaging app WhatsApp for US $22 million, it's no wonder more Australians are trying their hand at the next great one.

According to Statista, as of July this year there was an overwhelming 1.6 million Android apps and a further 1.5 million Apple Store apps. These numbers are only expected to increase, with Statista estimating that 80 per cent of Australians will own a smart device by 2017. 

The best way to protect an idea is by filling out a patent application that can be used for the duration of the marketing and development stage of your innovation.

Is my idea new?

Before moving forward with any patent applications, you must ask yourself one key question: is my idea new and inventive?

Trawling through the immense amount of apps available in order to establish this is no easy task. The nature of innovation makes this concept difficult to determine on your own. However, a patent attorney in Australia can help you with this process, reducing the likelihood of infringing on someone else's intellectual property. 

The best way to protect your idea is through an innovation patent. IP Australia suggests seeking advice from patent lawyers if you are seeking to register a patent in Australia in order to ensure the application contains all the essential information.

What is an innovation patent?

Mobile apps can be developed much quicker than other forms of technology and require a patent that is catered to these demands. Due to the timeframe, many app designs are protected through innovation patents.

Since December 2014, IP Australia has received 18,272 innovation patent applications. This is because innovations patents are relatively quick and cheap to obtain and enforce. Furthermore, they last for a sufficient time to encourage investment in the developing and marketing of the innovation. They can also be later converted to a standard patent, if the need arises.

If you require the advice on how to apply for a patent, contact the attorneys at Alder IP who are well versed in the process.