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Can App Developers Steal Your Idea?

December 30, 2022 | Mobile App

Can app developers steal your idea? The answer to this is “yes.” With millions of apps out there, many developers struggle to find new, never heard of app ideas. 

But how can developers steal your idea? Easy. You might be creative enough to come up with the best app idea, but you don’t have the skills or tools to develop an app from the ground, so you find another developer to help you. If you find the wrong developer, he could steal your idea, and you won’t hear from him anymore. It might be too late to find another app developer since your app idea could already be in the implementation phase. Of course, this could happen if there’s no contract signed by either side, you and the developer. 

App developers are not the only ones who can steal your app idea, your idea could not be stolen also by your business consultants or competitors if they can put a hand on your project. 

So now you might wonder how to prevent your idea from being stolen. You’re in the right place. 

Here are some points on how to protect your app idea so app developers can’t steal it: 

  • Share information carefully 
  • Do business with the right people 
  • Use non-disclosure agreements 
  • Copyright your app 
  • Trademark 
  • Apply for a patent 

1. Share Information Carefully 

Although, in many cases, you need to share your project information with developers, clients, or business consultants, try not to share every technical detail of your app idea. The less you share, the less likely your idea will be stolen. You might think this is common sense, but sometimes excitement may drive you to share more than necessary with many people. So keep some little secrets before revealing your app to the world. 

2. Do Business With the Right People 

When hiring someone to develop your app, be careful who you pick. This is important if you don’t want app developers to steal your idea. If you’re hiring a freelancer, get to know him well before showing him your app idea. If you hire an app development company, ask about its app development history, if they have the needed expertise and if it’s trustworthy. Find an app development company to fulfill your needs and requirements under your conditions. 

3. Use Non-Disclosure Agreement

You should always use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect your app idea. 

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a proprietary information agreement (PIA), is a contract between two or more parties that specifies confidential knowledge or information that the parties want to share for particular purposes but want to restrict access to for others. 

Many developers hesitate to sign an agreement before talking to them about the idea. Thus, an app development company ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement from the beginning might raise a green flag. 

4. Copyright Your App 

Copyright is another effective way to protect your idea. The main disadvantage of copyrighting is that ideas cannot be protected. As a result, once your app has been built, you must apply for a Copyright to it. However, you can use Copyright to protect the source code, text, content, and so on. The procedure is more convenient and less expensive than filing for a patent or trademark. 

5. Trademarking 

Trademarking prevents your competitors from stealing your app idea. If you apply for a trademark, competitors won’t be able to use your name or logo. Not only that, but you can also trademark the features and functionalities of your app. Thus, you’ll prevent people from stealing your idea. But you can do trademarking alone; you need a lawyer to guide you through the trademark process. 

6. Apply For a Patent 

Another step to protect your idea from stealing is a patent. 

Patenting is a powerful method of intellectual property protection that forbids independent development and the creation of variants of your software by competitors. However, the functionality you wish to patent must be new. 

It’s usually a good idea to start the procedure as soon as possible, preferably before making any public disclosures, because obtaining patent rights can be a drawn-out process that involves application and a careful review process. 

Final thoughts 

Losing your idea to app developers or others doesn’t happen very often. But also, it’s very difficult to prevent it from happening. However, if you combine the steps mentioned above and implement them, you can protect your app idea. 

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