You can effectively protect your app with the help of an expert. 

Find below the main topics on the matter for a better understanding

  1. Applications: how to protect them?
  2. Software development Contract
  3. Patent: when to patent an App?
  4. Protecting the code: copyright protection
  5. Name and graphic layout: registering a trademark and the design can make the difference 
  6. NFT and Smart Contract

Applications: how to protect them?

An application, or applicative program, consists of a software installed on a device, for example a pc or smartphone, which allows a user to carry out a specific function, through simple inputs on a graphic interface.

At the moment, there isn’t a specific protection for web or mobile applications, as they can have very different functions or features from one another. 

One may resort to different types of protections, depending on the case, in order to protect every special feature of the app on their own. 

Let’s see the types of protections you may take into consideration.

Ufficio Brevetti - software's patent


Software Development Contract

The development of an app can require advanced technical and computer skills. Skills which oftentimes the creator, being a person or a company, may not possess. The only solution, in these cases, is to establish collaborations with software developers or specialized web agencies, which may translate the idea in a code.

This requires sharing data or information on the ideas, that is why it is important to set up the collaboration with a solid contract at the base. 

In this first phase, where you make the acquaintance with a developer, the main contracts to take into consideration are:

  • NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) which are very useful in a first phase where you may want to share information without taking the risk of having them copied, stolen or published without your consent.
  • Software Development Contract: this contract is essential, once the collaborator is chosen, to correctly define the work to carry out but mostly to establish to whom the rights of what will be developed pertains.

The attorneys at law of have a long-standing experience in the field of software protections and can offer assistance in the drafting of the most suitable contracts for your business strategy. 


Patent: when to patent an app?

A patent is without any doubt a very strong protection as it allows to protect the function or functionalities carried out by the software. 

An application is patentable only if it generates a technical effect. But to define a technical effect is not easy: it means essentially an effect that goes beyond the normal operation of the machinery. An example could be a software which allows the optimization of the internal operation of a computer. 

In the case of an app, this technical effect is more difficult to find, but it is not to be ruled out completely. 

If it exists, a patent is always an hypothesis to consider because it offers a wider protection which extends to the technical functions carried out by the program and it is not limited to the app as it was effectively designed. 

Evaluating whether it is possible to patent an application is therefore necessary but very complicated. For this reason the advice is to rely on experts such as the ones of, who will analyze the app and evaluate its patentability.


Protecting the code: the copyright protection

Copyright protects the code of the program as written.

With respect to the patent, it is a more limited protection as it allows to protect the code exactly how it was written and not its functions. 

Nevertheless, copyright protection can provide many benefits, both in security and economic terms.  

Copyright is acquired with the sole creation of the creative and original work, independently from deposits or registrations, however the deposit of the code is always suggested. This operation is cheap and offers a precise date and an objective term of comparison which are essential in an infringement lawsuit, also to calculate the damage compensation. 

The deposit of the code at SIAE is therefore highly recommended. 

A software can be deposited, with two completely different procedures, either before its publication and after its publication, through the registration at the Public Register for Software.


Name and graphic layout: registering the trademark and the design can make the difference.

An application is always connected to an icon which represents it, and frequently also to a name. 

These elements represent one the main values of the app and must be definitely protected through a trademark registration. Thus, one obtains the exclusive right to use the icon and/or the name in the territory for the products and services of interest.

In case the app has a particularly innovative graphic layout at an esthetic level, it is moreover useful to take into consideration the registration of the design. 

This protection is often underestimated, but it protects one the most characteristic and recognizable aspects of the app, such as its screenshots, the internal icons, the graphic signs.


NFT and Smart Contracts

In addition to apps, in the last few years we are witnessing the diffusion of new and innovative technological tools: NFTs. 

An NFT is a code which includes a smart contract, regulating the conditions under which the rights on a digital asset, connected to the NFT, are transferred. 

Purchasing an NFT does not mean purchasing the digital asset, for example a work of art – linked to the NFT, but purchasing the rights connected to said digital asset, to the extent specified inside the NFT itself. 

This means that whoever is interested in purchasing an NFT must necessarily be informed of the rights being purchased.This knowledge can be acquired only through a thorough analysis of the NFT and of the smart contract included. Ufficiobrevetti’s experts can assist you in the analysis and legal assessment of NFTs and smart contracts, in particular those connected to the art world.

Register your software or app

Follow the procedure, it only takes a couple of minutes

  • Answer few questions and get a quote
  • Make the payment and upload the documents
  • Track the status of your application anytime through your user area