“If you have an app idea, and are rigorously looking for something that can protect it from the dark horse around you, then you’re at the right place. Know how to patent an app idea with an easy-going process.”

And, the story begins!

What’s that bulb 💡 above your head glowing so bright? Is that one of the best app ideas to bring a new invention into the world?

So, what are you going to do with your true million dollar app idea? Throw it on Shopify or start selling it to investors?

Before you start chattering your app idea to the wrong person or organization, here is something you need to do to protect your app idea.

“Patent an App Idea”

Yes! Patenting an app secures your idea from being stolen. The intellectual property law like copyright, trademark and patent safeguards your mobile app ideas.

Though, you might be running with lots of questions in your mind like how to patent an idea or what is patent or can you patent an app idea, and so on.

No worries, we’re here to help. Bookmark and keep reading this article to know everything about how you can patent an idea for an app, its time, cost, needs, and much more.

Also, at the end of the article, we’ll share some phenomenal tips to seamlessly patent your idea.

Let’s begin with a brief on mobile patents.

What is a Patent? – A Brief

A patent is defined as a right granted to an individual or company to protect their invention. It is also known as government-granted exclusive rights over a product or idea. Once your idea is patented no one copies, steals or sells it. Patents give you full control over your product or idea as it comes under the law now.

Likewise, for mobile app patent or app idea patent the same thing is applied. However, the only thing you need to take care of is your idea must be an invention and disruptive.

Once your app idea is patented, it will come under the intellectual property law of the World Intellectual Property Organization. Your permission is mandatory if anyone else wants to make use of your app idea.

The three core aspects covered under the patent app or idea are

  • Only you can claim profits or advantages on your app idea
  • No one can copy your app or its idea unless you grant permission
  • Any company/individual has no right to either sell or use it

Key Point:

A patent is only valid for a specific period. Most probably the duration of a patent is for 20 years. Thereafter, the protection ends and it comes under the “public domain”.

Types of Patent

There are four types of patents to choose from,

Utility Patent:

This patent is used for the long and technical documents that share knowledge on how to use new machines. Also, technologies that cover internet-delivered software inventions take the help of utility patents to safeguard their product or idea.

Design Patent:

It is equipped to protect the new, original, and ornamental design of already existing or new products. Just the way a utility patent protects the knowledge of new machines, a design patent safeguards the look of a product.

Plant Patent:

As the name suggests, it is used to protect the newly invented, discovered or asexually produced plants.

Can you Patent an App? – Most Trending Question

Being a trusted mobile app development company a lot of people come to us with a variety of questions. “Can you patent an app?” – is one of the questions that we’ve received numerous times.

Let’s give you an answer for the same!

The quickest answer is yes! Patenting an app idea is possible.

You can patent a mobile application idea because it is correlated with other various forms of interaction. Although, take note of the point that you cannot patent the code of an app as it comes under the law of the copyright.

Adding more to it, you should also take care of the point that the app is unique to your app pattern. Your app idea must not align with an already existing application.

The only rule for patenting an app is “It Needs To Be An Invention”

So, the very next question coming to your mind would be eligibility to patent an idea. The next section of the article gives you a piece of detailed information about the same.

Check Whether Your App Idea is Eligible for a Patent

Criteria for patent an app

Just because a patent app is available, it doesn’t mean that your app is eligible for the patent. Know what are the requirements to patent an idea or app.

Your App Must Be Unique and New

As already mentioned above your app should be something out of the box. Also, it should be useful to the people.

According to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), the patent app must provide a solution to some or other problems,

Additionally, your app idea should not have been launched on any platforms like YouTube, Books, Journals, pending patent apps, and much more.

Qualified as Useful

This simply means that your app needs to perform in a way that fulfills some or other issues faced by the people. It should at least fit in some useful theory.

Crosscheck Whether Your App is Already Patented or Not

The fact is you should never be under the influence that your app idea is 100% unique without cross-checking. Just because there are millions of people, who are entrepreneurs or startup enablers working on some or other app ideas.

Therefore, you need to confirm whether your app is already patented or not. There is an operation database available with your state or country wherein you can find the information of all preserved and access data.

Besides, you can even go through the mobile app development company Here, all the data related to patents in various niches are available. Also, you can learn about how to patent an app idea.

One more for you – to verify these points in your patent app, you can go through the USPTO website or Google patents for accurate information.

How to Patent An Idea? – A Step by Step Process

App Idea Patent Process

In this section of the article, the majority of times asked questions by the newbies of mobile app development – “How to patent an app idea”.

Let’s slip on to the steps of getting a patent on an idea!

1. Get in Touch With Software Pattern Attorney

In order to let your patent application get filed, you need a well-formed document that covers all the terms and conditions of the patent. And, to achieve this goal you need to hire a software patent attorney.Also, make sure that the one you hire has hands-on experience with patent ideas. As it is a legal process, it may include some litigation, therefore it is suggested to get done by the software pattern attorney.Do deep research and then select the patent lawyers that suit you best.

2. App Invention Disclosure

“I have an App Idea”– is just the first step toward a great invention.
To continue though, you must work on bringing this idea into reality. For that, the first step is to secure the app idea.To make your app idea a reality, first, confirm its convenience and pass the eligibility criteria to get patented. The court asks for the document with the entire mobile app development process to ensure its patent.Additionally, you can even make a prototype of your mobile app idea and test its flow. This leads to a string point for patenting apps.Consequently, it helps your software attorney to precisely learn about your app operations and usefulness.

3. Exercise Patent Search

You may have researched everything from your end, though it is recommended to hire patent attorneys who can conduct global research on your behalf and avoid any unanticipated infringement from other organizations or entrepreneurs.

4. File Patent Application

Ideas patented are in two forms – either provisional or non-provisional patent applications.

Provisional Application:

It is a common patenting app idea followed by millions of users. The best part is it enables you to file without any formal patent claim, any information disclosure statement, or declaration.

It also grants you a period of 12 months to develop and refine the MVP. Besides, you can use the term “patent pending” on the product.

Non-Provisional Patent:

The app for the patent here is accompanied by every minor detail and claim of the application. Non-provisional application is filed without any claims in the convention country. Also, it must contain a detailed description of the invention and a claim that legally defines that it is an invention.

Again here is a comparison between these two patent applications.
Provisional vs Non Provisional App Comparison

5. Submit Application:

Finally, you have reached the final step of patenting a mobile app idea. Once you’ve successfully completed all the above-mentioned steps, it’s time to submit your patent application file to the USPTO.

Here is a reference to some of the crucial documents required to patent app.

  • specification
  • Entity Status Form
  • Claims
  • Declaration or Oath
  • Application to Make Special (Optional)
  • Cover Sheet
  • Fee Sheet
  • Application Data Sheet
  • Drawings
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (Optional and for International Filings)
  • Data Disclosure Statement

The link contains a few sample patents. This may help you get a clear picture.

Pro Tip:

How to get a patent for an app – Provisional Application or Non-Provisional Application?

Confused with these two terms? No worries, we have a solution. Ask the below given two questions to yourself to get an answer.

  • How fast do you want your patent granted? – Non-Provisional Application
  • How long do you want to delay patent examination costs? Provisional Application

How Much Does It Cost to Patent an App?

Well, it’s quite tough to give you an exact cost to patent an app. Because the mobile app patents are different based on the patent category. However, here is some average range of costs to patent a mobile application.

Provisional Patent Application – $2000 to $5000.
Non Provisional Patent Application – $10000 to $15000.

Also, check this info,

  • $180-$700 for patent examination
  • $70-$280 is the elementary filing fee
  • $150-600 for patent search
  • Maintenance Fee:
  • 3-5 years keeping the granted patent valid: $400-$1600
  • 7.5 years keeping the granted patent valid: $900-3600
  • 11.5-years keeping the granted patent valid: $1850-7000+

It is advised to get in touch with a software patent attorney in order to get an average cost of your patent app.

How Much Time Does It Require For Patenting a Mobile App?

Well, this is something really tough to define in the patent process, as it may take months to years. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg waited for 6 long years to get a patent for this social media giant. Yes, can you imagine Facebook got patented after 6 years?

Hence, the time taken to patent an app is directly proportional to the number of revisions and rejections.

Why Patent App Ideas are Not For All?

As we already mentioned above, the time and app patent costs are really high. Henceforth, we can say that patenting is important but not for all mobile app owners.

All of the above, here is a list of a few reasons in which one must avoid the patent application process.

Many times patents usually block the chief resources like costs and time. Also, there is no security protection in some or other conditions.
It may also happen that you may need to change a part of your app idea in order to make it more perfect. And, a patent only safeguards the idea that you filed in the initial stage.

Hence, Excellent Webworld suggests you directly bring your app idea to reality with app development services. In a way, it will secure your app idea, and you will start earning the profits in a short time. You must talk to our experts for more information.

Alternatives to Patent – Trademark vs Patent vs Copyright

Now you’re clear with how to patent an idea. But, the next question coming to your mind would be, is there any alternative to patent? Then the answer is “yes”.

Trademark vs Patent vs Copyright – is a hot topic in today’s time. Let’s share with you a short description of the Trademark and Copyright to make the picture clear.


Just the way patents prohibit people from copying your invention, Trademark safeguards words, phrases, symbols, logos, or other devices that are the primary resources of a good service or organization.

Henceforth, you can use the trademark to stop others from copying your application’s logo or design.


Copyright vs patent is a debate running for decades. Just like patents, copyright is also considered a type of IRP with some different conditions.

The copyrights are issued by the inventors of any category like literary, artistic, educational, musical, or computer programs, reproduce the work, and so on. Also, it is not necessary whether the invention is published or not.

In short, copyright protects the expression and value of your ideas, but not the idea itself.

For instance, in our case – you can just copyright the app logo but not its idea, operation, systems, and so on.

The Conclusion – How to Patent an App Idea?

We hope all your doubts regarding how to patent an idea are now clear. You must have come to know that patenting an app idea requires sheer hard work.

Although, if you believe that your app idea is a true invention and blockbuster of the future then you must get it patented at the earliest. If you need any assistance to make your app idea a reality, we’re here to help.

We’re one of the most experienced software development companies in the world. Also, we have built applications in a wide spectrum of industry domains. Thence, our expertise lies in each niche to build a flawless app solution for you. Get in touch with us for any queries.

Frequently Asked Questions

To patent app idea, you can follow the below-given steps.

  • Enlist with Pattern Attorney
  • App Invention Disclosure
  • Exercise Patent Search
  • File Patent Application
  • Submit Application

The app idea is patented in order to safeguard it from breaching or being stolen. By patenting an app, you get full authority over its idea.

Yes, the app concept can be patented but not the code that is used to build your application. You can only patent the app idea not its method of development.

20 Years is the maximum limit a patent can be valid. For design patents, it is 14 years.

Mayur Panchal

Article By

Mayur Panchal

Mayur is the CTO of Excellent WebWorld and a Web & Mobile App Development Company. He is updated with all the latest trends in the mobile app technology field. He writes blogs which are helpful for businesses to implement technology in the operations. You will find him swimming whenever he is free.