How Do I Protect My App Idea?

Every day we have well intended and polite customers approach us, keen to talk about their idea, but cautious of having it known to anyone outside their inner circle. People sometimes apologize and ask “how do I know you won’t steal my idea?” It’s a good question. You have to trust someone eventually but the truth is that perhaps you can’t protect an idea, at least not all of it, and probably not for long. There are four things you can try:

  1. Share your idea with people you trust.
  2. Get everyone you speak with to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Contact us if you’d like to get a copy of our standard NDA.
  3. Seek to protect your invention with a patent.
  4. Buy up related domain names, secure your business name and social media accounts.

Our core business is helping people define and build their app solutions. We live and work in the fine city of Perth, a busy bustling city – but a small one – and our hard earned reputation depends on our dedication to integrity. People come to us every day with their ideas because they trust us to respect their confidentiality, and work with them to build something great.

A non-disclosure agreement is often used to explicitly define confidentiality terms and disclose penalties between parties. An NDA is legally binding, and in tightly controlled circumstances these can be strictly enforced. The reality though in many situations is that it is difficult to prove a breach. Still, it is significant to have parties sign an agreement to respect confidentiality as it firmly states the expectation of confidentiality and sets the context of further discussions. We would be pleased to provide an NDA form for you to use if you don’t have one already.

Ideas can’t be protected by a patent, inventions can. If you think you’ve invented something unique then we strongly recommend you research patents to find out what might be possible. Please let us know if this is something that might apply to you, and if you would like an introduction to a patent lawyer in Perth.

NDA in hand, you’re hopefully ready to share your idea. Hopefully you’ll give us at least some information before the next question, how much should I pay?

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