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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
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I have designed an App, but have not had it coded/developed

Customer Question

I have designed an App, but have not had it coded/developed as of yet. I have diagrammed it out using a simulation tool that allows someone to use it like it is an actual App. However, I want to protect it in all the ways I am able to, through a legal or other process before I show it to investors, developers, etc. In addition to having anyone I show it to sign a well drafted non-disclosure document, what are the things I need to do first, and subsequent steps that will afford me the protections I need for thie App so that my idea is not taken? Should I: Copyright what I have? Apply for a Provisional Patent or Patent? etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If you haven't yet fully coded the application then while you can copyright what you have, you may need to do so again once you actually code it. That is because the code may substantially change and you would need protection for both sets of intellectual property. But to be honest you may be better off considering a confidentiality agreement and a non-disclosure that you would need to provide to potential investors simply because the work may change--you can still copyright it but it might not be as necessary or useful. You can likewise file for a utility patent if your application is novel enough so as to protect the idea going forward--that may be the better option over a copyright as you are then protecting the idea rather than the code.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, Dimitry. As a follow up, what would I need to specify in the utility patent if it's the idea I am protecting? The process itself as to how the App functions and/or what problem it solves, etc? Would you share some examples? Thank you, again?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

My pleasure, truly!

Yes, the patent is all about specifying the idea. And that is the problem--if you wish to keep it secret, filing for a patent is the LAST thing you do, because you want to discuss this idea privately with investors. And that is generally a non-disclosure idea. The moment you file the patent it becomes public as far as research by the patent office, and if granted a provisional patent, by subsequent patent filers.

As far as example, that is up to your application. If you designed a new logarithm that helps people find pets (as an obscure example), you would need to file in your application the specific requirements and scope of the application, and also try to figure out as many uses as possible so that the next person won't patent part of your process that you didn't protect.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dimitry, do I need to have an attorney sign a confidentiality or NDA if I speak with one on the specifics of my idea?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

No, you do not. Attorneys are required based on their professional ethics to keep your conversations private and confidential provided that you speak with an attorney within the scope of the attorney/client relationship. In other words if this attorney represents you, he cannot disclose. But if this attorney is not 'your' attorney but is simply an investor, for example, he has no duty to keep information private and he would be someone that you would need to have signa non-disclosure with.

Sincerely,

Dimitry, Esq.