App law is an evolving hybrid of other areas of law. It commonly involves app development, privacy, and IP (copyright and trademark ) issues. The following is a checklist of common issues that you should consider with regards to your app development business:
- Where did your app idea come from? Ideas cannot be protected. Only expressions of ideas can be protected. You could face problems if you 'borrow' too much from someone's work.
- Do you own all aspect of your app? Who created the story, images and sound? You should have a combination of work for hire and assignment agreements granting you the legal interest in each. Taking a sound clip or image without obtaining a license could put you on a direct path with a lawsuit. Creating original works is often cheaper than licensing.
- Have you filed for Copyright protection? Works have federal copyright protection upon creation. That said, you must register with the Copyright Office in order to sue for damages if someone infringes upon your work. Registering your work also provides notice for those searching the copyright database.
- What is your current business structure? Liability and tax considerations will heavily influence the type of business you choose to form. Consult a C.P.A. It is of the utmost importance to adhere to the formalities required for the business structure you choose. Failure to do so may expose you to additional liability.
- Privacy You What information are you collecting? What do you do with the information?
Jovan Johnson provides practical advice for app development projects. Contact him now!