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Published : June 12, 2016 | Author : jessica
Category : Intellectual Property | Total Views : 1967 | Rating :

My formula for living is Simple. I worked hard in disciplining myself with the art of writing.

De Jure Mobile Applications under the Intellectual Property Law

A mobile application is a software program for an operating system (e.g. iOS) designed to run on smart phones (e.g. iPhone) and accessible through application distribution platform (e.g. Apple App Store) that are typically operated by owners of the mobile operating systems (e.g. iOS for iPhone). The Developers create applications, which run on mobile platforms and exhibit novel nuances in resolution, style, size, technology and user interface for each smart phone. Mobile application and software including computer program are financially successful. Therefore by virtue of this article, the Author endeavors to expedient the multitudes of issues observed by mobile developers and young entrepreneurs also concurrently propagate various legitimate fortifications offered under the intellectual property law in a colloquial manner.

A developer can collectively seek legal enforcement under the Copyright Act, 1957, the Trademarks Act, 1999 and the Patent Act 1970 before release of an application and gain maximum profits. The parameter of Copyright Act, 1957 extends to the protection of original work for the application, which includes the text, source code, visual content and is thereby protected as literary work. The Copyright Act, 1957 grants the Author bundle of rights to duplicate, distribute and display such original work.

Many Authors rely on source code ‘open’ to all for usage and development of mobile application. The open source code is governed by a license agreement, which retains protection under copyright in the name of source code provider and simultaneously allows developers to use, add own source code and distribute the final product. Such applications are not recognized as original work and thus cannot be registered. Instead the developer is required to provide public access to the open source code alongwith the copy of the open source license agreement with distribution of new product. Any violation or infringement regarding the license for source code, the application will be removed immediately from the distribution Platform and such developer shall be held liable for a legal action.

A person may sell the same product under a different brand and dilute the developed proto – product. Therefore, a Trademark can protect the identity of the application and the reputation earned through good-will. Furthermore, a registered trademark owner can institute a legal action and appeal pecuniary relief against any unlawful infringement and counterfeit. The Trademarks Act, 1999 intends to keep the logo and icon of the application distinct from other logo and icon of the competitor company and prevent confusion regarding the source in the digital market.

The Patent Act, 1970 also offers protection for a useful novel product or a process. Computer programs cannot be patented per se, unless the program forms an integral part of the innovative invention and does not fall within the ambits of the non – patentable matter as specified u/s 3 and 4 of the Act. The fundamental requisition for patent is novelty without compromise on the scope of invention.

From the Lawyer’s Desk

Since the advent of Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce) Industry, potential developers have created various lucrative application and software suitable for consumers for a convenient lifestyle. The mobile application developers have witnessed financial success for creation of savvy products but due to ignorance of legal enforcement, the value of such product or process is tarnished.

Mobile applications grant an array of platforms for innovators to exhibit their intangible creation into a tangible medium. An intellectual property specialist can provide bona-fide legal guidance beneficial towards the protection of novel inventions and management of such intellectual inventions to achieve maximum exposure and optimum success.

For further assistance in intellectual property rights, please contact Adv. Jessica Gill.

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