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iPad application "patents"?

This is a discussion on iPad application "patents"? within the iPad Development forums, part of the iPad App Store category; I have some ideas for iPad apps, but before I pay for the hardware and dev membership I was curious about something. Let's say I ...

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  1. #1
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    iPad application "patents"?

    I have some ideas for iPad apps, but before I pay for the hardware and dev membership I was curious about something. Let's say I write an app that's different than what's out there, and let's further say that it's successful (sells). Is there anything stopping anyone from just copying what it does and just redeploying their version of it? Possibly with more developer clout, fancier graphics, etc? In general are there a bunch of wolves out there waiting to jump on bandwagons, or is there a way to keep something unique? TIA

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  3. #2
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    You don't say which country you're from but, in general, the patenting of software is a 'minefield' and varies from country to country. In some countries software is treated very much like written material and so falls under copyright law rather than patent law. I'm sure that, amongst the Forum members, there are some patent lawyers who can help but, in any case, even if you were granted a patent or copyright protection you have to be able to 'afford' to defend it against a big corporation.

    Tim
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    If the Tower Defense genre of games is any indication your only protection is to provide a better app, or offer the lowest price.

  5. #4
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    Yes, copyright was really more of what I was thinking. Anyway, can anyone say what is the value of simply being there first and establishing a "presence" where others tend to say "Well, it's already been done" ? Or does there tend to be a lot of cannabalism in the iOS market?

  6. #5
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    I think that if you're the first-to-market with an innovative, high-quality, well thought out and well implemented product then you will probably be successful. You only have to think of Apple who, before they started introducing the iPod, iPhone and iPad were nearly bankrupt.

    But, in general, I agree with your sentiments. It can be very difficult for the new guys out there.

    Good Luck with your venture.

    Tim
    Scotland


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