Monthly Archives: November 2013

Can I patent my mobile app?

 ‘Yes’, as long as what the app does, in terms of processing, communications and other functions, is new and useful, i.e. has never been done before.  The requirements for patentability of a mobile app are no different from any other software-based inventions or computer-implemented inventions i.e. novelty and inventive step.  However, you have ask yourself whether getting a patent in a fast-changing market is worthwhile.  Computer-implemented inventions are generally patentable in Canada and the US, however, other jurisdictions such as Europe, place stricter limits on the patenting of software-based inventions.
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Many mobile device apps exist in two parts, i.e. an app which runs on the user’s device, and a remote server which may retain persistent user information and/or other data, or act as a processing center or a conduit for communications between end-users.  Any of the interactions and processing occurring at the mobile device(s), or at a server, or indeed any unique client/server transactions which take place, may form the basis for a patentable claim.

When dealing with mobile developers, we generally recommend filing a provisional patent application before making key disclosures to investors, and before the launch date of the mobile app, followed by non-provisional (utility) patent application 12 months later.  That one year gives you time to assess whether the market reaction is favorable enough to pursue a non-provisional patent application. This strategy enables you to minimize your upfront costs in the patent process, while maintaining your rights to pursue patent protection for your mobile app while you explore the market.

If you would like to discuss a strategy for patenting your mobile app, please contact Sabeta IP for a free initial consultation.