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How to Develop an App-The Legal Issues

by Matej Njiri9. June, 2016

How to Develop an App-The Legal Issues

Developing an app can be really fun and exciting project for an individual. But it can also be very rewarding business. It’s also one of easiest businesses you can run having smaller budget.  Maybe you have great idea that could entertain people or help them in their every day lives. But, it’s important to remember that no matter how much you’re excited over creating new app you need to know that there are some legal issues to battle. Google pay and iOS App stores are super strong platforms that provide developers access for taping into, so they can share their unique app with millions of people around the world. But even those type of businesses have some barriers for entering. It’s important to be aware of potential pitfalls and legal issues just as with any other business.

Here are my top legal issues that someone can face when developing an app as well as some suggestion how you can handle it:

Before you start creating, you need to research and make sure that similar or same app is not already on the market. Decide which of the mobile market are you targeting, android or iOS? Is it going to be paid app or free? This is the part where issues about what’s legal will start to rise. Whether you are trying to talk about your idea with anyone from friends, developers or investors you should always consider a basic confidentiality agreement. This is also proof that you are serious when it comes to protection of your unique idea. It often happens that someones idea is copied or even taken. People can even tweet or publish that as a post on Facebook. When it happens it’s going to be difficult to prove you are the owner of idea. The second problem is confidentiality.  This comes up very often since in tech world we are surrounded by industry of innovative nature. So in order to ensure this you need to use non disclosure agreement. Before you started to work with other designers, developers or copywriters kindly ask them to sign non disclosure agreement so they guarantee you that they won’t disclose any details about your idea or project.

The third legal issue is ownership of intellectual property, or just IP. By this I mean all work that you created while marketing, selling or developing something. It’s important to ensure that everything you generated with your business is owned by you or your company. The icon of app, written content, graphics, source code and designs should all be considered as intellectual property. You should also take further steps in order to protect your work. You can do this with patents, copyrights and trademarks. Copyrights are applied to any type of artistic works such as content source code and design. Patents are here to protect inventions and processes. Trademarks are protecting company logo, name, and the name of your app.

Privacy policy is also a big concern. If you are collecting personal information from your app users you can violate the laws of privacy. It includes phone numbers, addresses, locations, names and even birthdays. You should disclose what type of data is being collected. Development of app is fast paced business but just like with every other businesses, there are some issues you need to know so you can deal with them and achieve great success. Good way of starting is learning about major legal issues.