Background I have spent the last 3 years researching a business model/method and then completed building a mobile application that functions in a specific way. I never did any "prior art" research before building my product.
Upon completing the mobile application i stumbled across a "patent pending" for an almost identical product, with very similar business method. Reading their method sounds exactly the same, much like Lyfts would sound the same as Uber :) I also discovered their screen designs are somewhat similar but different enough to not infringe on any copyright.
However their patent pending is in a completely different jurisdiction to me.
They also filed their patent application before i had built my product. My product is not yet launched in my jurisdiction, and i have not filed any patent for my product.
My questions are: If this companies' "patent pending" was to be accepted in their jurisdiction, and then they were to apply for the same patent in my jurisdiction, assuming my business is now operational, can they shut my business down if their patent gets accepted in my jurisdiction?
And if they were to file a patent in my jurisdiction, what can i do to protect my business - for example can i "alert" my local IP body in advance that i "exist" so their patent filing will become "invalid" on the grounds its not "novel" in my jurisdiction?
thank you so much in advance...the more details i understand the better!