Deploying an application you have been working on can be an exciting and nerve-racking experience. You have been working on this application for weeks on end and are excited to see what your users will think of it. However, beyond understanding the different operating systems that will run your application, It is also important to consider other aspects, including legal factors, that will affect its deployment.
Mobile Applications are touched on by several legal issues including privacy and data protection, intellectual property, terms and conditions, ownership rights, confidentiality, and nondisclosure. To ensure that you have a successful rollout of your application you need to consider these factors.
Privacy and Data Protection
Depending on where you want to deploy your application, you need to ensure that how you handle your user’s data is in line with the laws in place. For example, if you are deploying an application in Kenya you need to ensure that your application processes personal data in line with the Data Protection Act. Some of the requirements also depend on what your application does. If you are developing an application in health care you will have to comply with more privacy requirements as it is a more privacy-sensitive area.
Due to the highly competitive nature of the industry, mobile app creators must be able to protect their creations through intellectual property law to prevent others from infringing and profiting from their work. Protection of mobile applications begins with the protection of the name, logo, or slogan through trademark law. By protecting the app’s brand, app developers can better control consumer perception of the app by distinguishing the developer’s app from other apps available on the market.
Since mobile apps are software applications running on a mobile device, each is designed with a unique source code that allows it to run on a desired platform. Source code meets the standard for copyright protection because it is an original work of authorship designed by the app developer fixed in a tangible format.
It is important for developers or business owners who have apps developed by others, to maintain ownership of the app. However, software development for hire carries with it many risks, for instance, what if the software developer decides to take the software for themselves or recreates a similar software for a competitor?
This is why the contracting company needs to use carefully crafted language to ensure that the ownership of the final product and any resulting Intellectual Property is transferred to the company.
Secondly, the contracts should have robust non-disclosure clauses tailored to your specific company or situation that prevents the contracted software developer from re-creating the code for another client.
The writer is a lawyer who specializes in offering legal services to software developers, e-commerce companies and people in technology. You can reach him through firstname.lastname@example.org