Finding the right app developer for your app isn’t an easy job, and it becomes even more challenging when you are new in the industry. Previously, we shared the ultimate checklist before hiring an app development company. Check it out as it will help you to shortlist good companies from the crowd and outsource your project in the right manner. During the process of finding the right app company, people tend to forget about some legal work processes which help them to safeguard their rights against the fraud corporations. Thus, as a responsible application development company, we decided to bring forth some of the important legal aspects of outsourcing mobile app development.

Let’s start the discussion.

1. Project confidentiality

No good mobile app development company steals your idea but as it is said “Prevention is better than cure” you should still take some legal measures to maintain the confidentiality of your project. The best way it is to sign the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) which protects the app agency to reveal your project details to any third parties.

2. Intellectual property ownership

Before outsourcing your mobile app development, first, know your IPs (Intellectual Properties) and then ask the organization to transfer their ownership to you. Any work created during the app development process from the code to app designs and even content belongs to you. To simplify this situation, sign a Work for hire agreement with your app development company.

3. Intellectual property protection

As compared to your app development company, you will face more challenges from other copycat developers. They usually ship their own version of your app and cut into your potential revenue. Honestly, there is nothing much you can do about it but if you follow these legal procedures, you can protect your app from directly being copied.

Copyrights: Copyright laws don’t protect abstract ideas. You can only obtain copyrights for products, specific technological procedures, and research-related works. That implies, your app idea isn’t copyrightable. However, your app’s code and other resources are eligible to get the legal protection. Copyrights will prevent others to directly copy your app code and resources to use in their app. But still, you can’t stop them to launch an app sharing the same features as in yours.

Patents: Similar to copyright laws, you can’t get a patent for your app. However, it isn’t impossible. In rare cases, you can obtain a patent, if your app implements an out of the box and rare functionality. Game apps are patentable, given that they follow the give condition. Patent laws differ by country, so contact an expert lawyer to help you in the task.

Trademarks: Trademarks will help you to stop others from using the name, logo, taglines, and other business-related terms of your app. Simply, trademarks restrain third parties to represent their business in the same way you do which safeguard your unique identity in the market.

4. Define the terms of use of your app 

Terms of use is the agreement between you, app developer, and every user of your app. It defines rules and regulations related to the usage of your app and prevents any sort of illicit use. However, it is not necessary for some basic apps which involve no user interaction between themselves, developers, or with you.

5. Disclose your privacy policies

If your app collects PII (Personally Identifiable Information) like email, phone number, etc., then you have to define privacy policies. The privacy policy agreement should clearly define the type of information collected, its purpose, and usage.

If minors will use your app, then your privacy policy must adhere to COPPA‘s privacy requirements. The law closely monitors how apps and websites collect information of children under the age of 13. Matching the COPPA’s privacy measures is quite an uphill task, so, avoid collecting any sort of info to play safe.

Do not worry, as you are not alone in the app development journey, a client-oriented agency like Agicent will help you to create a privacy policy that respects both user’s and your interests.

With these important points, we sum up our discussion for today. We hope this article will help you to understand the legal aspects of outsourcing mobile app development. Though we are not lawyers, but we do have domain expertise in application development. Thus, we know about the legal technicalities involved in the process. The article has been written with due diligence and extensive research. If you need some help, then write us at [email protected], or post your queries below.

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Sudeep Bhatnagar
Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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