Legal Pitfalls, App Companies in NYC should be Aware of

18 June, 2020

Legal Pitfalls, App Companies in NYC should be Aware of

It is estimated that at least two mobile app development companies are started every 3-4 months in larger cities in the US like NYC. This is not a surprising figure considering the increasing affinity of the public towards spending most of their free time on their smartphones browsing through various apps. A trend that is slowly taking over the market is; customers opting to buy new products and availing to various services through mobile applications. Most of the App companies in NYC also have a good number of clients as companies that are opting for mobile applications to propagate their businesses are increasing. These factors naturally kick in the chances of competition among app developers and most of them delve into the industry without giving much attention towards the legal pitfalls of the industry, a mandatory aspect of app development. With the growing popularity of mobile applications, piracy too has increased in an unprecedented manner. General concepts or design elements can be easily copied and even apps can be cloned entirely making it look and feel exactly identical to the original one. This makes it impossible for anyone but the developer to identify the pirated version. Below are certain legal aspects that can be referred to by App companies of NYC who are new in the industry. These are equally important for experienced players as well.
    • Signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the client, no matter be it a startup or an acclaimed company is very important. This will help secure the confidentiality of the app.
    • Intellectual property ownership is another mandatory step to ensure the security of an app developers’ content and to also avoid third party infringement. As a piece of software, an app has numerous IP rights, including in its interface, layout and design. Recognizing and protecting these rights can be either done through copyrighting or trademarking, each one having its own prudent laws in existence according to the governance of the places for which they are made.
    • App development format should be signed prior to the first stage of app development. This provides a clarity regarding the scope of work, services, fees and other aspects and also avoids unnecessary confusions between the developer and the client.
    • It is mandatory to abide by the Restricted content policy and the app developer should follow the app store listing page regarding adult contents, violence or drugs. The guidelines are given in the Google/ Apple Restrict Content Policy Page.

    These are only a few basic things that the app developers should ask their legal advisors before entering the industry. However, there are many aspects that are specific to various apps like for kids, education and even health apps. App developers of NYC who are designing mobile applications for these industries have to follow strict rules that are in place. Hiring a good legal advisor who can guide the app developer in understanding and implementing these rules will solve the issues on the go.
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