How to Patent an App Idea in 2024?

How to Patent an App Idea in 2024?

Imagine.

You have just cracked a bumper app idea in your mind and you’re super excited to share it with your friends! 

But just wait for a while! 

If you ever make this mistake, you cannot make it big in your business. 

For that reason, thousands of businesses have failed while those who kept the idea in mind have become multi-billionaires like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and more. 

If you’re bothered that someone might take it away from you and use it before you do then you should “Patent the App Idea”. 

Patenting an app idea is important to protect it from hackers and stealers who could use your idea and make something big. Remember that your app idea should be new and must adhere to patent law. Otherwise, you might not be granted the patent of your idea. 

Did you know?

As per the research conducted by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), around 646,855 patent applications were filed in FY22, out of which only 382,559 patents were granted.

Now, you might have understood that not all patents are granted!  

But the question is- How to Patent Your App Idea in 2024? What are the types of patent applications? How much does it cost to patent a mobile app idea? 

Without further ado, let’s dive in! 

Understanding Patenting an App Idea 

In simple terms, patenting an app idea means protecting your intellectual property from unauthorized usage. It protects your app idea and prevents others from using or selling it even if they stole your idea. Generally, you can patent your idea in the UK, Australia, China, and the United States. As a rule of thumb, each country has its own set of requirements and conditions. 

This is where the importance of eligibility criteria comes in!

Eligibility Criteria to Patent an App Idea 

No matter what kind of app idea it is, there’s no need to patent every single idea that comes to your mind. There are certain eligibility criteria that you should know. 

Eligibility Criteria to Patent an App Idea 
Parameters Details 
Invention Since the mobile app idea is not a tangible asset, it’s categorized as an invention. 
New & Unique Even if your app idea helps users fix their issues, it should be new and useful. Otherwise, it will not qualify for the patent. 
Usefulness Ensure your app should be useful to your target audience. You should produce a detailed description of how your app will be useful as per the claims. 

Though the list of parameters under eligibility criteria isn’t too long, it doesn’t mean you can patent any kind of mobile app. 

Not all mobile apps are eligible for patents. Let’s move ahead to know the types of mobile apps you can patent. 

Types of Mobile Apps Eligible for Patent 

Let’s look at the different types of mobile app ideas you can patent. 

  • Mobile Gaming App 

If your mobile game app ideas contain new gaming styles, concepts, and mechanics that none of your competitors has ever done then it’s eligible for a patent. 

  • AR/VR Based Apps 

If your app idea is about engaging with users in a different and better way then it’s eligible for a patent. It does matter how your audience interacts with the app and what uniqueness your app is offering. 

  • IoT Apps 

Remember that your app should offer innovative controls, data processing, monitoring, and other aspects that not just solve real-life problems but help make things easier. 

  • Education & Learning Apps 

If your eLearning app includes basic information and regular visual elements then it might not be ideal for patent. Ensure your mobile app idea should contain unique app ideas and approaches to come under eligibility criteria. 

  • Social Media Networking Apps 

If you have a special app idea related to social media networking then you should patent it as soon as possible. Your app should include some special messaging or calling features that make it stand out. 

Steps to Patent Your Mobile App Idea: Key Insights 

If your app idea matches the aforementioned eligibility criteria then it’s time to get started with patenting your mobile app idea. 

Step 1: Select the Patent Type You Want for Your App 

Even if any sudden idea strikes the doors of your mind, there is no way you will just run into patenting it. There are a lot of considerations and aspects involved. Before you even file for a patent, there are two types of patents to know. 

  • Design Patents 

When you have a mobile app idea, it’s quite certain you will also have something about UI/UX-related ideas. If you have a unique design in mind, you can patent it to protect it from stolen.

  • Utility Patents 

This kind of patent deals with the functionalities, processes, mechanics, and other associated technicalities of the app. If you have a unique app idea that is unique in functionality, technology, and integrations, ensure you patent it to keep it yours for life. 

Step 2: Don’t Hesitate to Research 

In the second step, you should conduct extensive market research to find out whether your app idea is already taken. If you, however, don’t do research or talk to other companies that might have already patented your idea then you may land in big trouble later. You may get an unexpected legal notice from other companies. 

If none of your competitors have built apps similar to your idea then there are higher chances of getting the payment. 

Step 3: Prepare Yourself for the Patent Process 

Once you have researched the app’s idea that is not patented, you can start the process of patenting your app idea. During the process of filing a patent, ensure you describe key facts about the patent application. 

  • Describe the App’s Invention 
  • Functionality of the App (How Does it Work?)
  • Diagrams & Pictorial Visualization, Wherever Possible 
  • App’s Data Sheet 
  • Cover & Fee Sheet 
  • Entity Status Form 
  • App’s Layout 

While filing the claim, you should provide complete information about your app to find out whether your idea is new, innovative, and useful. 

Step 4: Decide Whether to File a Provisional or Non-Provisional Patent Application

It is the most important decision one can make while filing a patent for a mobile app idea. To help you decide between the two, here’s a quick difference!

If you have ample time to work on an invention and can spend extra bucks then you should opt for a provisional patent. On the other hand, if you think your invention is ready and doesn’t require changes then you may opt for a non-provisional patent protection. 

To understand the patent fee structure for your specific country, check the official website of the patent office. 

Step 5: Give Prompt Replies to Office Queries or Concerns 

Once you have filed the patent for your mobile app idea, ensure you keep an eye on the process. If any action is taken on it or someone from the office asks you about the idea then you should be quick enough to answer their queries. There are chances that the examiner may ask you to change or bring more clarification on the app idea. 

If anything like this goes on then it’s wise to respond to their actions on time. Ensure you don’t delay the process as it might not give a good impression of your reputation. 

Step 6: Pay a Maintenance Fee Once your App is Patented 

Congratulations- Your mobile app is now patented! It’s yours now, no one can steal it from your pocket! But it doesn’t end here! Now, you will need to maintain it regularly to keep it in force. If you want your app patent to remain active, you will need to pay a certain amount. 

Since getting a patent for an app idea isn’t a cakewalk.  If you don’t have time and want a helping hand then hire professionals to manage your patents efficiently. 

What is the Cost to Patent a Mobile App?

No fixed amount is required to patent a mobile app. It may vary on a multitude of factors, including the complexity of the app, patent office fees, type of patent, professional fees, and more. Remember that your patent fees are categorized into the following areas, including; 

  • Patent Search 
  • Application Filing 
  • Patent Examination, Issue, & Publication 
  • Maintenance Cost 
  • Trial & Appeal 
  • Post-Issuance 
  • Patent Petition 
  • Service Fee
  • Patent Enrollment 

Speaking of the two categories of patent, namely provisional and non-provisional, both have different fee ranges. The former’s cost starts from $2000 and may go up to $5000. On the other hand, the latter may cost you anywhere around $10000. 

It is no secret that patenting an app idea is time-consuming and drains your money and effort. 

But how about going through some other alternatives? Well, fortunately, some options offer similar protection. 

What are Other Alternatives to Patenting Your App Idea?

If you want to explore some other alternatives to patenting your app idea then here is a list of the popular options. 

  • Copyright 

It is one of the popular forms of patent alternative that protects the original work of ownership. Once you claim the copyright of any form of creative idea or content, you can prevent it from stealing or copying. 

  • Trademark 

This form of protection helps protect the app’s logos, icons, content, and other important elements. When you opt for a trademark, you can prevent others from using your app’s idea or any unique element similar to yours. 

  • Non-Disclosure Agreement 

It is a form of a legal agreement or a contract that enables you to sign it with your partner who is involved in the app development process. The agreement stops your partner from disclosing any information or revealing anything about the project. 

What Does “EitBiz” Have to Say about it?

Now, you might have got the idea that patenting an app demands strenuous effort and time. If you believe your app idea is unique and will revolutionize the mobile app industry, look no further than “Patenting”. Though the procedure is tiresome and critical, patenting your app idea is important to prevent it from getting stolen. 

If you need assistance with mobile app patent research, contact EitBiz at +1 (812) 530- 6300 or mail to info@eitbiz.com today & protect your innovation. On the other hand, if you have an app idea, hire app developers to build a solid app today.  

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it! Patenting your mobile app idea is an intelligent method to protect your unique idea. Not only does it help prevent your competitors but it also enables you to establish a robust market foothold with your out-of-the-box innovation. 

But before you think about patenting your app idea, you should check whether your app idea is novel, innovative, and useful. It should solve the problem of the masses. 

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Patenting an App 

Listed below are the frequently asked questions related to patenting an app. 

  • How much time does it require for patenting a mobile app?

The time required to patent a mobile app depends on a multitude of factors, including the uniqueness of the app, skilled professionals, documentation, the app’s complexity, and many more. Speaking of the time in general, the mobile app patent claim process may take several years.

  • What to do if the app idea is already patented?

If your research discloses that anyone has already patented the idea, you will not need to lose hope. Ensure you research the patent carefully and think about what new you can incorporate into your mobile app to make it stand out. 

  • How long can you hold the patent of your app idea?

You can hold the patent of your app idea for 20 years. For the United States region, you can hold the Utility patent protection for 20 years while you can hold the design patent for 15 years from the issuing date.

  • Can I make money from the patented idea?

Yes, you can make a good amount of money from the patented mobile app idea like selling it to some other app. 

  • What countries offer patent services for mobile apps?

Some of the countries that offer patent services for mobile apps, include the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Japan, China, the European Union, Brazil, India, South Korea, Canada, and more. 

  • How can an IT company help you patent your mobile app idea?

Partnering with the best IT company like EitBiz plays a vital role in filing your mobile app patent. From understanding your technical documentation to moving ahead with innovation and improvement, they will cover each aspect involved in the app patent process from scratch. 

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