Jul 22, 2021

How To Protect Your App Idea

An article elaborating on how to protect your app idea as you as you transform it into a working model
Siri Kaliparambil
Siri KaliparambilTechnical Content Writer

Digital solutions are constantly revolutionising our lives and it has become imperative for businesses to keep up with the changing trends to stay relevant to the times. Many companies are adapting apps in order to refine their business processes which makes it critical to search for application ideas that are truly unique. The numerous applications found on the app stores  almost guarantees that there is a similar offering from a competitor because of which stakeholders have to invest time and research on ways to make the application idea distinctive. Once the application has been visualised, the next task in  hand is to safeguard it from being stolen by any potential competition before it has been launched. Here are some of the things you can do to protect your application idea:

Disclose Selective Information To Credible Partners

The simplest way to protect your app idea from being stolen is to disclose information sparingly. While it is pertinent to share information with potential partners and developers, do so with caution and only divulge necessary information without explaining the intricacies of your idea. Unless your company has an in-house tech/design team, you will have to outsource talent from external development companies to visualise your app idea. Invest quality time and effort on researching various development companies before screening and finalising on a credible partner for your venture. Since it is not possible to copyright an app at the conceptualisation stage, sign app development contracts with your partners which are formulated in a way to protect your app idea.

Sign A Non-Disclosure Agreement Without Fail

Non-disclosure agreements are a guaranteed way to protect your app idea as it prevents the leak of sensitive information. An NDA is a signed contract between two parties which highlights the importance of confidentiality for the partnership. While it is important to share your ideas and functionalities of the application to developers, signing an NDA is the easiest way to ensure that this information will not be divulged to external parties. You can also enter into a written agreement with your partners stating your rights to the data used once the development process has been completed. Similarly, you can also opt to sign a non-competent form with developers which prohibits them from working on a competitor’s project.

Apply For A Provisional Patent

Applying for a patent is a lengthy process and it serves the purpose of giving you exclusive rights to your intellectual property and prevents others from replicating your idea. While it does protect your app idea from being stolen, the time and effort that goes into obtaining a patent, not to mention the exorbitant funding, makes it an impractical idea during the conceptualization stage, especially when you do not know how the app will be received in the market. You can optionally apply for a provisional patent which is a type of agreement serving the functions of a regular patent but it can be filed sooner and without as much hassle making it the perfect antidote to protect your app idea.

Trademark Your Brand

Explore the internet to find unique design elements that make your app truly distinctive from other players in the market before visualising design elements and finalising the name for your application. In the scenario that you are unable to obtain a provisional patent for your app idea, you can trademark the name and logo of your application during the development stage which will prevent any potential competition from using the same while giving you exclusive rights over the trademarked elements. You can also trademark certain features and functionalities of your application which will prevent other contenders from rolling out similar features. Trademarking your application along with the aid of an expert lawyer gives you an edge legally when it comes to the protection of your app idea.

Visualise Your Idea At The Earliest

Copyrights are the best way to protect your application, but your app can only be copyrighted once it is conceptualised making it imperative to transform your idea into a working application at the earliest. Likewise, ensure that you are keeping a written record of the development process right from the start to the launch as this will be of massive help in case of any unprecedented legal issues. For a truly successful application, enter into a partnership with a dynamic development company which has a proven track record of delivering quality applications and conceptualise your app idea before a similar launch hits the market.


Transforming your idea into a working application is a fascinating process and it does not do well to have your idea stolen before the app sees the light of the day. While there is no straightforward way to protect your application from being stolen when it is just an idea, you can employ intelligent decision-making to implement strategies to protect your app idea. While it is possible for other companies to launch similar applications post the launch of your app, this further elucidates its success and relevance in the market.

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