All You Need To Know About IPR in Mobile Applications
Nowadays, mobile applications are one of the most vital parts of modern businesses around the world, and it acts as part of businesses to be an absolute model for business. IP is involved in mobile applications, and there are different instances where duplication or copying can cause serious damage to the company. The effective way is to strategise the IPR of companies. Scroll down to check more information regarding IPR in Mobile Applications.
IPR in Mobile Applications – An Overview
Following are various IPR in Mobile Applications:
- Patents in Mobile Applications:
Patents are usually linked with industrial processes and products and not with software-based products/items. But, with the current transition of the legal landscape of the Patent feature where the software-related inventions are now entitled to get Patent Registration, as long as they satisfy the necessities of Patent Law.
However, there are some issues or problems faced by the Mobile Applications in granting of Patents:
- Software-related inventions don’t generally conform to the specification required by the Patent eligible matter;
- The Patent application process may take, on average, a few years, and there may be examples where the application is approved at various stages, which considerably extends the process.
The Patent becomes vital for software protection as the Patent works in the scope and not on how one developed or created the work but the only factor that Patent law safeguards the qualitative difference. However, for being granted a Patent, it is vital that the program is not simply an algorithm but is a technical invention or innovation that is entitled to Patent Registration.
According to Section 3 (k) of the Patent Act, 2002, computer programs cannot be patented.
Computer Software shouldn’t be the following programs/algorithms to be granted under the Patent Law:
- Business method, algorithm, or mathematical method;
- A computer program.
However, the computer software can be patented if it is attached to innovation and that it’s a part of such an innovation. To avoid the claim of Section 3 (k), it’s vital to show that hardware is a part of the invention along with the computer program or software. Whether mobile applications are patentable or not, it’s been a long due question for the past years. Well, mobile applications are software interacting with different servers’ while running on hardware that becomes a technical innovation of hardware.
- Trademarks in Mobile Applications:
The word, logo, name, and symbol of the mobile application give the company a unique identity in the market. The company should focus on protecting or safeguarding the mobile applications by getting Trademark Registration under the Trademark Law. It becomes beneficial in instances like:
- Customer identification;
- Brand Awareness;
- Online Promotion.
Hence, it is vital to protect the word, name, and logo as a registered Trademark so that no third party violates the name, word, or logo of the brand. The goodwill & trust shall stay attached to be registered name only.
- Copyright in Mobile Applications:
Copyright safeguards visuals, images, or any other type of literary works that are created from the application. It also safeguards computer code under Copyright Law. There is no need to file for an application for Copyright Registration because in the Law of Copyright, as soon as the subject matter is created. The Copyright owner is the rightful owner of the subject matter. However, it is recommended to get it registered to safeguard it from infringement by a third party.
Following are the aspects that are safeguarded under the law concerning the Copyright Law:
- That can be deemed artistic work like videos, images, sound, etc.;
- Work must include the layouts, images, user interface, etc.;
- Any literary work that comes under artistic & literary work which is new & distinctive.
- Design Protection for Mobile Applications:
Design protection is not globally consistent, and there are variations in terms of protection. The type of trade dress that is safeguarded if the outside appearance. Design law plans to mostly safeguard the external look as seen with the trade dress of the application.
The design of a mobile application’s GUI or Graphical User Interface may be vita for its appeal to its customers. There are jurisdictions or provisions that have Design Patents; the process of registration is different in every jurisdiction or provision. In other jurisdictions, there is the possibility or chance for a registered design outside the Patent Law structure. A design cannot be a useful design and what is regarded as functional is a matter that varies in every domestic law.
Vital Agreements during the Development Phase – IPR in Mobile Applications
- NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement: The other vital agreement that should be taken under consideration is the NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement. Whenever a business is developing or evolving, there are plenty of other parties apart from owners involved in the process. In this matter, while developing a mobile application, the developer or the developing agent team. The NDA safeguards your business idea & prevents it from going out. In case of disclosure or revelation, a case can be filed to improve for the failure that you went through.
- Non–Compete Clause: A Non-Disclosure Agreement prohibits employees & developers from discussing your project over a specified period of time which is often for more than three years. The agreement comes into the picture when the developer or any individual from the team leaves your team. This is a common occasion where the company can be threatened. A separate agreement/a clause of a non-compete should be added so that the third party doesn’t involve in any project that can prove to be your competition in the future. The project’s sensitivity may warrant having a distinct Non-Compete Agreement or adding a clause to your Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Idea of the Mobile Application cannot be safeguarded – IPR in Mobile Application
A particular game like the snake game can be safeguarded if it is exactly copied or duplicated but if a similar snake game is modified or changed in another type of game. It is not likely to get protection.
What can be protected by IPR in Mobile Applications?
Following are the things that can be protected by IPR in Mobile Applications:
- The name;
- The logo & brand;
- If exactly copied, then the application can be safeguarded.
What cannot be protected by IPR in Mobile Applications?
Following are the things that cannot be protected by IPR in Mobile Applications:
- The idea of the application;
- The concept of the business.
Mobile applications have become a part of business majorly in this quickly evolving world of technology. In the business of software & mobile application, ideas are not that valuable. IPR are vital, but it is the implementation of the idea that is more valuable than the idea itself. The financing strategies, marketing, and the promotion of the business play an essential role.
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