Does Your Web App Count as an Invention?
When someone pictures an inventor, there is usually a physical item packaged in with it. Like with Thomas Edison, you may think about the lightbulb. If you think about the automobile, Karl Benz may come to mind.
Of course, not all inventors deal with creating physical goods, especially with computer technology being a dominant force in today’s market. Even with the creation of a unique and useful web application, you may also be considered an inventor if you take the necessary steps.
Are web applications patented inventions?
When someone produces a computer program, people may primarily think about licensing before a legal patent, especially with open source code. A patent grants an inventor to exclude others from using their invention for a certain period of time. Although, not everyone bothers to use the patent system with computer programs.
Although, if your web application mostly consists of others’ libraries and back end components, it would be questionable to call it an invention. This would also be a tough call by patent authorities since your app doesn’t necessarily bring something unique to the table, even if it appears so on the surface.
A patent in this context is if your app solves something in a completely unique matter and consists largely of your own code. When in doubt, always search the official USPTO database.
Is it worth patenting my app?
It can be quite a troublesome process to patent an app, although you may hire a company to do it for you. Just like with any business decision, the reward should be proportionate to the time and money you will invest in going through the hassle.
The main angle to look at is if competitors may easily steal your idea and ruin your business model. Even if you just have a bare prototype that few have seen, it is never too early to get a patent to protect your intellectual property.
Of course, if you patent a new method or process, you need to light a fire under your rear and utilize it. The patent process costs money, and since just owning a patent is no guarantee to an income, you must employ a smart business model to capitalize upon it. The tech market moves quite fast so it is easy to be left behind by larger companies with more resources.
If your application doesn’t obviously appear fresh, unique and solves a critical problem, there is no guarantee to a speedy patent approval. You must also take into consideration if your product will be viable years from now, because you may be waiting that long.
A web app developer can indeed count as an inventor, depending on the context of things. If you’ve created something that you feel is essential to the world and needs to be legally protected, definitely consider obtaining a patent. If you have no experience with the legal or business side of things, you may need to employ the help of experts to make everything go smoothly.