Teen wants to release app...several questions

Discussion in 'App Store Business, Legal and Marketing' started by MathBunny123, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. MathBunny123 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    Toronto, Canada | Sibiu, Romania
    Hello. I'm 15 years old, and I have quite a bit of experience programming (4 years, since I was 11). I'm interested in posting an application on the Mac App store, however the idea is very unique (will not disclose it :p ), but you see how can I prevent another, larger company from stealing my idea & implementing it better?

    Like imagine 2014 but with bad graphics, then someone steals the concept and resells it with another name but gets all the fame. Do I need to patent?

    Also -- do I need to sign up under my parents name for the Apple Dev?
  2. TouchMint.com macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2012
    Unless you spend quite a bit of money to trademark it you arnt going to stop people from taking your idea.

    The best thing you can do is make the best app you can. The app store is full of clones thats just the way it is.
  3. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    Trademarks will do nothing to help you, they are for thinks like Coke, Apple, Jeep, Pepsi, etc...

    Software patents can help if you can get it approved for a patent. It takes time and money.

    Applying for a software patent can actually make things worse. The patent has to show HOW to do what you do, in such a way that someone else can easily do the same thing. So, if someone thinks your patent won't pass, they have your whole 'secret'.

    It only works _IF_ you will get approved, other wise, you've just told everyone exactly how (step by step) in easy to understand terms, to copy exactly what you think is valuable.

    Look at some of the patents, they must be very detailed.

    Now, _IF_ you think you'll get the patent approved, everyone has all your details and they can find a way to bypass (do the same thing differently) and you are done... your patent has no more value.

    In other words, if there is a different way to do the same thing, your patent has no value.

    Although, you could apply for many patents, it can get costly.

    Example: one company put out a product covered by a patent. Another company found a way to do the same thing, instead of 1 step, they used 2 steps and a separate valve. They put out the product at about 1/2 the price of the other one.

    In addition, as I understand it, it must be unique and have value (useful purpose), and it's a 1st come 1st served.

    In other words, if you make a mistake in the patent and someone else catches it of finds a work-around, you've just wasted all your time and money.

    This is aside from you having to find out if it's already out there (prior work). The prior work does NOT have to be a patent. All someone has to do is prove that something was out there BEFORE your patent.

    Aside from all this, your patent can be challenged. Someone right now, is claiming a patent on webcasting (podcasting). It's a very expensive case to process and it looks like they should lose. The US government is cracking down on software patents and patent trolls.

    If that's not enough, you have to consider people outside the US. What if a 15 year old in Singapore steals your patent? Are you covered? Not all countries are covered by US patents, so now you have to spend even more for coverage outside the US.

    Now, let's assume you've done all that, and some 15 year old in Singapore does steal your patent. What are you going to do? Catch a plane to Singapore and start knocking on doors asking for a 15 year old that stole your patent? -- not likely -- Good luck enforcing a patent, it costs even more money.

    This is one of the good news / bad news things about patents. It works out that the only things that should be patented, are things that REALLY have market value. If you think this has that much real value, then you'd invest, say $50,000.00 in fees to get it patented. (you can patent yourself, but you still have to do the patent/prior work search, and hope that you got everything covered properly, and this it is actually something that CAN be patented).

    The reason I know some of these things, is that I invented several solutions to California's drought. I searched online and found that some of my inventions were patented years ago. Then I saw that there was no product that used these patents... then I figured out why... they had no market value. The people that held/hold these patents wasted their money and time. They got nothing.

    There is good news: There's another way. It's called run fast.

    Run fast means that you build the product and make it as great as you can, then sell as many as you can BEFORE anyone figures out what you are doing and how you are doing it.

    Run fast, can be combined with a patent. You simply apply for the patent, then run fast. _IF_ the patent fails for any reason, you still ran so fast you can now own the market.

    Consider: FB wasn't the 1st. You can make a FB and call it HeadBook. The problem is that FB already owns the market. Getting millions to move from FB to HB would be a huge expensive job and you'd have to prove HB is better than FB... _IF_ you are able to do that... FB could simple see what you did, and do it better...

    _IF_ you think what you've got is that good, build it, build it as great as you can, don't release it until it's great, once it's released, watch others... If others add better things... make yours better. -- Run Fast.
  4. MathBunny123 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2012
    Toronto, Canada | Sibiu, Romania
    Excellent, just what I was looking for! Thank you everyone.
    Guess I will work with the "run fast" method. :p
  5. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    File for a patent, and be prepared to wait for it to get granted (several years), and then to spend potentially many millions of dollars defending it.

    But, most commonly, big companies simply ignore the ideas of outside inventors (the not-invented-here blindspot).

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