Featured Image

Table of Content

  1. Build the app
  2. Non-Disclosure & Non-competent agreement
  3. Patent application
  4. Trademark the app name or logo
  5. Copyright the app
  6. Get into business with right people
  7. Don’t infringe on other’s work
  8. Conclusion
  9. Commonly asked questions about protecting your app idea

The number of mobile apps has increased significantly in the recent years. The app market is project to reach US$543.50bn by the end of 2023. With an annual growth rate of 22.97% it will reach a humongous US$1095.90 by 2027. The prospect of trying a new app excites the users, especially when they change their old device. As a result of this, leading app stores are teemed with millions of apps with an overwhelming number of downloads every year. This shows that mobile app industry has a lot of potential and numerous companies want to tap into this potential. More and more companies want to launch unique apps with the best functionalities.

App development is in the golden age now and many app developers are trying their best to create the next big app. If you are an entrepreneur in mobile app industry with a great app idea, then you must not only implement it successfully, but protect the idea from being stolen.

Now, the question is how to protect an app idea from being copied.  Anyone who gets hint of your idea can copy before it is published. Here are some effective ways to protect your app idea from pirates.

1. Build the app

Building the app immediately is one of the best ways to protect your app idea. Turn your idea into app as soon as possible without revealing much about it. Once you have developed the app, you can have copyright protection to prevent reverse engineering.

Make sure that the freelancer or mobile app development agency is releasing copyrights to you at the end of the project. It means, the intellectual property is your – once you have paid the bill. If we see technically, the app belongs to the app developer. However, once they are paid off – the app belongs to you.

2. Non-Disclosure & Non-competent agreement

Non-disclosure agreement is one of the crucial steps taken by any business to protect their property. The same is the case with mobile app development. When you are hiring developers or designers for your project, you should ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement. You can get this done with the help of an attorney.

Similarly, non-competent agreement is aimed to keep people from revealing secrets of the company to competitors. It refrains developers who are working on your project from working with other companies. The best thing about non-competent agreement is that the professionals will not work on your competitor’s projects. However, it is a bit difficult to find developers who are willing to sign such agreement.

Getting into non-disclosure and non-competent agreement is the best way to protect your app’s idea.

3. Patent application

Patenting an app idea is something that you should consider seriously. It should be done to legally protect you app. However, it is not an easy task. You apply for patent application and it takes more than 2 years for issuing app patent. Once you have the app patent, all you need to do is protect the functionality of the app. You must also protect the app against independent development. Before you make public announcement, file all the important information with the help of your attorney.

The only drawback of applying for a patent is that it is expensive. Before you file patent application, you can ask yourself – is the app really patentable? Your invented app should be really new and beneficial. Patenting the app will cost you more than what you invested in developing and implementing the app. To overcome this issue, you can apply for provisional patent that protects your app idea for a year. Even if your app idea is not valuable, you will have time to improve it.

Trademarking the app is another effective way to protect your app idea from being copied. This method helps you restrict other developers or entrepreneurs from using the name, icons and logo of your app. Besides these, you can even trademark the features and functionality of your app. This method will surely prevent your competitors from following the same route. If we have a look at the top-rated apps like Angry Birds, Instagram, and Candy Crush etc – we can say that their brand recognition is highly incredible. These apps can be identified just by seeing the font and colors that are associated with them.

The best part about trademarking the app is that your competitors or other developers can’t trick potential customers by creating products with similar logos or names. Trademark also offers extra protection against legal issues. You can take help of a reputed lawyer who is aware of the tricks and guide you accordingly.

How to protect an app idea cheaply? Copyright app idea. Yes, copyrighting is one of the popular terms we hear, when it comes to protect the property, product or service. However, you cannot copyright the idea – as it is limited to code, design and UI. Copyrighting the mobile app is cost effective and provides basic protection against direct copiers. You can file copyright protection online. However, it does not protect your ideas or methods – unless they are implemented in a creative way.

Copyright will help you protect the original work such as source code, graphics, text and AV content. This process is quite cheaper compared to trademark and patent. Again, this is a verified way to legally protect your app.

6. Get into business with right people

One of the common mistakes that business owners do is to get involved with the wrong people. It is always advisable to do business with those whom you know very well. Find if they have a good reputation of working on similar clientele. You can easily run a background check of the developer, client, investor and even contractor before involving them in the project. Finding the perfect developers is half the battle won.

 Selecting trustworthy people will help you to turn your idea into great app. Moreover, you can decide how much information to reveal to other so that the app idea can be protected.

7. Don’t infringe on other’s work

Most of the times, we are inspired by the work of other people and try to copy it. The same is the case with app development. Though you have your own ideas and concepts, you end up trying something that is popular at that moment. The best way is to prevent infringing the work of others and try to keep your work as original as possible.

There are hundreds of apps on App Store that are similar to the reputed apps. Whether it is gaming app or on-demand services app, you will find a few similarities between them. Instead of replicating the business model of others, try to create something original that fills the real need.


There is no clear cut strategy to protect app idea from being copied. However, you can keep the above steps in mind to protect your app idea. Smart decision making practices can provide excellent protection over app idea thieves. Never under estimate the value of your idea, as all the big products start with small ideas.

Commonly asked questions about protecting your app idea

1.) How to protect an app idea quickly?

To swiftly protect your app idea, consider these steps: Start by documenting your concept in detail, outlining its purpose, features, and unique value proposition. Next, create a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and have anyone you discuss the idea with sign it. Utilize a provisional patent application, which provides temporary protection while you refine your idea. Additionally, consider trademarking the name and logo of your app to safeguard its brand identity. Keep detailed records of your development process, including design documents, code repositories, and communications with collaborators. Be cautious about sharing sensitive information, limiting discussions to trusted individuals. Finally, consult with an intellectual property attorney to explore further protection options and ensure compliance with local laws. Remember, swift action and documentation are key to safeguarding your app idea effectively.

2) I have an app idea. Can you help me build an app?

Certainly! As a mobile app development company, we will be thrilled to assist you in bringing your app idea to life. Our experienced team of developers, designers, and project managers is dedicated to turning concepts into high-quality, user-friendly applications. Our designers will create intuitive and visually appealing UI/UX designs tailored to your target audience and our skilled developers will develop it leveraging the latest technologies and best practices. Rest assured, your app idea will be in safe and capable hands.  

3.) What is an inexpensive way to legally protect your app?

An inexpensive way to legally protect your app is by filing a provisional patent application. This provides temporary protection for your idea without the cost of a full patent. You can also look into copyrighting your app assets. Additionally, drafting a thorough Terms of Service and Privacy Policy can safeguard your app’s legal interests.

Want to work with a reliable android app development company that can protect your app idea during development? Give us a call and we will guide you how to protect your app idea.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


Gayatri Akella

Content Writer

Gayatri is a content writer specializing in web pages and SEO content. She writes SEO articles for companies that want to enhance their visibility on search engine result pages. She contributes articles related to mobile apps, SEO, technology and related niches. She is a techno-savvy person and is passionate in writing how-to-guides, gadget reviews, blogs, eBooks and cutting edge articles about current technology trends. Her work involves rewriting, proofreading, editing and updating content. She experimented with various occupations – programming, training, web designing…..But her favorite job is the one she is doing now.

Still have your concerns?

Your concerns are legit, and we know how to deal with them. Hook us up for a discussion, no strings attached, and we will show how we can add value to your operations!

+91-95010-82999 or