Patent App Idea

To patent an App idea in the UK, Australia or Canada is a lengthy process – a process that typically takes 4-5 years, whereafter who cares anymore? That’s why Uber and Waze focussed on getting a “Patent Pending Number”.

Uber kept its App “patent” pending for 9 long years – a period of uncertainty sufficiently long to enable Uber to create an Empire. Waze did the same for 6 years. During the “Patent Pending” period, competitors’ and funders were effectively deterred from developing and launching a competing App.

Uber App Idea PatentUber App Idea Patent Pending

Facebook viewed App patents slightly differently. When Facebook launched, it had no patents. But, just before listing on the Nasdaq, Facebook bought 7,500 App patents. Why? To give investors the impression of a “barrier to entry”, and thereby to increase the IPO share price.

Facebook App Idea PatentFacebook App Idea Patent Pending

Guitar Hero was admittedly a little cheeky: they patented a feature that doesn’t even exist in the commercial version of their App … merely to be able to claim “Patent Pending”.

Guitar Hero App Idea PatentGuitar Hero App Idea Patent Pending

For Apps, the “deterrence and marketing value” of a “Patent Pending Number” (where the scope of the patent is unclear) is typically far more valuable than the “protection value” of a “granted patent” (where the scope of the patent claim has been crystallised). That’s why Google abandoned the Waze App patent immediately after acquiring the company – the patent had “done its job”, and its negligible protection value no longer justified the cost of maintaining the App patent in force.

Waze App Idea Patent

The best example of this is the Uber App patent: during the 9-year “Patent Pending” period, everyone guessed what Uber’s patent covered. Today, we all know that to circumvent the Uber App patent, all a competing ride hailing App needs to do is …

Remove the map from the screen when submitting a transport request.

… Competitors may freely display the map before and after submitting the request, but not “concurrently”, and all other features of the Uber App may be copied.

To get a worldwide “Patent Pending Number” for an App idea is quick, easy and surprisingly affordable. Simply:

  • describe the new feature / method step in your App idea using our patent template;
  • complete the Iptica online App patent application form; and
  • Pay only $99 by credit card.

Also see our easy DIY provisional patent drafting and filing guide.

The process takes only a few minutes. And, within a day you’ll receive a “Patent Pending Number” that will last for 12 months.

App Idea Patent UK

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