I completed specification work for a new app.

Can I protect my idea or concept of the app before I actually go build the app? Can I get patent on my specification or theory before building the real app?

  • I've removed the references to copyrights in your question, as those are not on-topic for our site. If you would like to know about copyrights, I'd invite you over to [startups.se], where the scope is more focused on the business side of things, as compared to being specific to patents. That said, the rest of your question is definitely a good fit for this community, and the patent side of things is arguably more important anyway. Feb 18, 2016 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


You have a copyright on your documentation as soon as you write it.

At least in most normal cases, you don't need to build something before you apply for a patent on them. The only exception (of which I'm aware) is if you want to apply for a patent on a perpetual motion machine, in which case you need to give the patent office a working model of your invention.

Other than that, however, a patent application just requires you to describe your invention in sufficient detail for a "person of ordinary skill in the art" to implement your invention. You also have to describe how it's useful, and (the part that's usually the most difficult) show how your invention is new and novel--what distinguishes it from existing ways of doing things.

  • ... And you have to give the best implementation details you know on the date of the filing.
    – jimm101
    Feb 20, 2016 at 2:05

just wish to add a bit to Jerry's. The first type is Utility patents. Utility Patents can be for method and/or device. If one is satisfied that one's idea meets the basic requirement of (i) Novelty (ii) Inventive step and(iii) Industrial Applicability one can proceed to put up an application for method even if the actual device is not developed. In fact, time should not be wasted because in the environment of "first to apply" practice for granting patent, every second counts. And of course there is another kind. Design patents. The name is self explanatory

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