Do you have a great app idea? If yes, it’s highly likely that you’re losing sleep over worrying about competitors stealing your app idea.
It’s quite understandable. Such nightmares can indeed become a reality. A highly competitive market worsened by a severe lack of fresh ideas can push people to do the unthinkable.
Thankfully, as an app owner, you can take certain measures at every stage of the development cycle to thwart their attempts to steal your idea.
Let’s look at all such measures in this post.
#1 Look for trustworthy partners
It’s not new for app owners to outsource the app development work to a freelancer or an external agency. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with unreliable and unprofessional people who can recreate your app in no time once they get hold of your idea.
This makes it extremely important for you to pick freelancers and agencies who are trustworthy. Here are some ideas to identify such people -
- Ask for their portfolio and past experiences. A good portfolio comprising work done for different clients establishes that they’ve been in this business for quite some time.
- Talk to their previous clients and understand how their experience was working with the freelancer or agency. This might seem a little overkill at first, but remember - you can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting your app idea.
- Pick freelancers either via referrals or from known platforms, like Upwork.
#2 Sign an NDA
Once you’ve found the right partners for developing your app, the next step is to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with them. This is nothing but a contract that’s signed between you and the partners, officially stating that any information that you reveal to them during the project is confidential and cannot be disclosed to a third party.
The NDA should ideally list all the parties involved. It should ideally be without any loopholes and cover every aspect of your app idea. Once you sign the NDA, you can freely start discussing your app idea with the developers. Any reputable freelancer or agency will be apprehensive about using or sharing your app idea as they can end up in infringement cases.
#3: Document everything
It’s very important to log everything related to your app idea right from its genesis to completion. Don’t forget to save them in a written format, however small the information may be. Remember - even the tiniest detail that you’ve captured can become the strongest proof for future battles. Smart app owners tend to document the app’s codes, business plans, wireframes, and every other information related to the app idea.
Pro tip: Keep all the details in a separate file in a drive so that you can access them anytime. Also, give access to these files only to people you trust the most.
#4: Do not share everything with everyone
We understand that you need to share details of your app with different people, like developers, designers, and even investors. But it doesn’t mean you need to share everything with them. Share only the relevant information that can help them do their job (in case of partners) or make a decision (in case of investors).
In simple words, share details on a need-to-know basis because the less information you share with people, the less likely your app idea will be stolen. This is particularly important during the early stages of development when your app idea is most vulnerable to getting copied.
#5: Protect your app name
Here’s a useful piece of information for you - It’s impossible to have two apps with the same name in iOS app stores. This means once you reserve your app name in the iOS store, no one else can publish another app with the same name as yours. The best part is that this entire process is free. Also, there’s no limit on how long you can reserve the app name, provided you don’t violate any of Apple’s guidelines.
If you want to take this protection one notch higher, you can always trademark the app name along with your logo. Once you do that, it’s impossible for your competitors to dilute your brand value by using even a similar name or icon. A trademark document is also strong proof to show that your app idea was conceived much before the person who stole it.
A word of caution, though - Trademark registration expires after every 10 years. So keep renewing them to stay protected throughout the app’s life.
#6: Patent the app
This may not be the easiest way to protect your app, but definitely the strongest. The main reason why it is challenging to patent an app is that it must comply with very specific patent requirements, like uniqueness and usefulness.
The first step is to consult a patent expert and evaluate the patentability of your app. The same expert can guide you on the patent process, terms, and fees. Now, despite the complexity of this method, a patent can protect all aspects of your app, including its features, concepts, and variations.
Protecting your app idea might not seem easy, but it’s possible and definitely very important. Follow the procedures highlighted in this post so that you can sleep soundly, knowing that your app idea is safe and cannot be stolen by anyone.
If you already have an app idea and looking for a partner to implement the same, you can try Vajro. Since Vajro is a no-code/low-code app builder, you can build your app yourself without any external help. This means no sharing of information, no stealing of ideas, and no legal tussles with freelancers and agencies. To know more about Vajro, book a demo now.