Law Firm of Kaye & Mills

Entertainment Law   Business Law   Internet, Electronic Law  

App Law: Success in the App Industry Requires Solid Legal Advice

Do you have an idea for an App? A really cool one that is even better than the one your friend told you about just yesterday?

You are not alone. As everyone knows, Apps are big. And now we have an idea of just how big. A little-reported study from TechNet, a technology trade group, finds that the demand for applications for games and other things has created 466,000 jobs in the U.S. since 2007.

Currently, 1/3 of adults use smart phones. That number is growing every day. New uses for Apps will tie the phone to home appliances, other home uses and to new uses in the workplace.

Today, there are more than 500,000 Apps available for the iPhone and Apple's iPad tablet alone. Add to that a proliferation of other mobile devices designed to run on operating systems made by Google Inc., Research in Motion Ltd. and Microsoft Corp.

What's pretty crazy to think about is that this economy didn't exist until 2007 when the iPhone first made its debut and Facebook turned its website into a platform for other programs designed for its rapidly growing audience.

As its audience has grown from about 58 million users in 2007 to 845 million today, Facebook has hatched perhaps the most successful Apps company so far in Zynga Inc. The San Francisco maker of online games such as FarmVille and Words With Friends now employs about 2,800 people.

Programmers should be very psyched, but even people without hard tech skills should find this news heartening, because as App companies grow they also need human resource experts, sales people, marketing people and other people to fill non-tech functions.

The natural focus of discussions about Apps is on technology and functionality but there are significant legal issues as well that should not be ignored. If you are working with other people, there are partnership, ownership and compensation questions that need to be considered. There will be Trademark, Copyright and Licensing issues relating to both your programs and the interests of third parties. And, of course, attention will need to be given to customer concerns and consumer terms and conditions. If your App will be available to children a whole new set of issues are presented.

Further, if you are forming a new start-up company to jump into the fray, there are the usual corporate and company matters to be tackled.

Getting it right the first time will allow you and your team to focus on the project at hand and not be distracted by unanticipated legal complications. Having Kaye & Mills aboard gives you the knowledge needed to manage your intellectual property and to address your other legal requirements so that you can build, market and exploit your Apps and programs with confidence. We can also provide you with the platform to plan for future growth and success in this exciting new industry.

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NOTE: These articles and excerpts are provided on the condition that they cannot be referred to or quoted in any legal proceeding. The reader is strongly urged to consult with a lawyer for legal advice on these matters. Any reliance on the information or excerpts by someone who has not entered into a written retainer agreement with the lawyer providing this information is at the reader's or recipient's own risk.