Considering the fact that app development is one of the easiest businesses to get up and running on a small budget, a lot of people tend to overlook the legal issues that come with it. Furthermore, there are plenty of developers who don’t know what to look for in their attempt to make their app legal-right.
And given the fact that mobile app marketing is the fastest growing niche in the industry, it is no wonder that mobile app revenue is forecast to grow from $45,37 billion in 2015 to $76.52 billion in 2017.
App legal issues
As a mobile developer, business owner or young entrepreneur, the most important thing you need to understand is that mobile apps fall under both online laws and telecommunications laws, simply because apps are delivered on a mobile device and use the internet.
Here is an overview of the most relevant laws that affect your mobile app development:
- Intellectual property
- Consumer/Fair trading laws
- Online codes of practice
- Classification of games
What are the legal issues you need to take into consideration when developing an app?
- Brainstorming phase (this includes checking other apps available, deciding if you want free or paid advertising, choosing your platform and looking for investors)
Legal issues to solve – The Confidentiality Agreement: At this phase you need to use a Confidentiality Agreement each time you speak to an investor, an app developer or even a partner.
- Designing phase (refers to the steps that involve sketching an app mockup, describing the functionality of your app or writing a specification document)
Legal issues to solve – Evidence of Copyright: You need evidence of copyright in order to brief your app developer and as a part of your App Developer Contract.
- Hiring an app developer (this includes steps such as finding potential app developers, hiring them and refining your beta app code.
Legal issues to solve – App Developer Contract: Use the Contract to define and agree upon deliverables, costs and timeline, making sure you include a Confidentiality clause and that the Contract specifies your ownership of the app source code
- Planning your app marketing (refers to choosing a name for your app, find a designer to agree upon an app logo and ultimately plan marketing tasks and budget accordingly)
Legal issues to solve – IP Protection: In this case you need to trademark your app name and logo with IP Australia and get patent protection from IP Australia if you have a unique app in terms of functionality.
- Releasing your app on the market (this phase includes launching your app in the App Store, on Google Play and on your own website)
- Promoting your app ( refers to the process of creating promotional material, using social media to promote your product and the stages that involve app update and promotion)
Legal issues to solve – Done!