Categories: Mobile Apps

So you have a brilliant mobile app idea that you can’t wait to launch. It’s so brilliant, in fact, that you’re worried that you could become easy prey to unscrupulous individuals.

Here’s how to stop someone from stealing your mobile app idea.

Don’t spread the word about it

Sure, one way to validate your idea is by talking to people and seeking their feedback. But being selective about the information you share can help reduce the risk of your idea being copied or stolen. During the planning and development stages, share information only on a need-to-know basis. You’ll be more likely to get to keep your first mover advantage.

Embrace the NDA

Trademarks can help protect an idea – and its execution.

Non-disclosure agreements are the entrepreneur’s friend. Use them with your mobile app developer and any other individuals working on the project. This includes freelancers, consultants, clients and even investors. An NDA can offer protection against idea theft, and it’s an invaluable tool to have at your disposal. Note that some companies or investors may have their own NDAs in place that they’d prefer to use. Given the nature of their role, investors may be best approached with a business plan that contains a confidentiality agreement.

Get trademarking and copyrighting

Trademarking can help you prevent competitors from using elements associated with your app. These include symbols, icons, logos and words – those that you use for key features, for example. You can also apply for copyright of your app, but this offers less protection as its enforcement tends to apply only to exact clones of apps. In contrast, trademarking is broader, and can be enforced even with names, logos and icons that look similar but not the same. Patents are also an option, but these can be expensive and challenging to obtain.

Reserve app and domain names

Don't forget to reserve your domain name!

Don’t forget to reserve your domain name!

Worried that someone will lock you out of the market by stealing your name? Move fast and reserve any domain names related to your mobile app – and don’t forget to reserve your app name on the App Store. This will help protect you from domain squatting. App Store name reservations are free, and domain registrations generally run only in the tens of dollars.

Go forth and build a mobile app idea worth stealing!

While you can take steps to drastically reduce the risk of your mobile app idea being stolen, nothing is failsafe. If you succeed with your app, someone out there will try to coast on your success by creating something very similar. But they’ll rarely get it right – and they won’t have the brand equity that you do. So don’t make it easy for imposters, but don’t worry too much about them. Just focus on building an app that the world can’t do without.

Have a great mobile app idea and need a team to build it? Get in touch!

Touchtap is a digital agency specializing in mobile-first development.We can build your mobile app for you.

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