Article in B2B Marketing magazine on legal issues and apps development

I have an article in this month’s B2B Marketing magazine. The article looks at some of the legal issues to bear in mind when developing apps for platforms such as iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

Although the aticle appears in a publication that deals with business to business marketing (the clue is in the title!), many of the issues highlighted are equally applicable to B2C (ie consumer) apps.

Here are some of my top tips:

  • know the rules of the platform – Apple in particular has extensive rules that you need to adhere to when developing for iOS.
  • decide what you want the app to do – is an app genuinely the best way to deliver your idea, or would you be better creating a mobile optimised version of a website? Has it been done before? Can it be easily copied?
  • Make sure you own/are properly licensed to use the IP in your app – there is no presumption that you will own the copyright in code developed for you. Also, make sure that third party IP is properly licensed (and on wide enough terms to avoid future problems further down the line – if your third party licence specifically references the iPhone then it won’t allow you to distribute the same app on the iPad).
  • Make sure you think about brand protection (ie trade marks) – and remember that the app market is generally global. A number of apps have had to rebrand because their brand infringes the rights of a third party in another country where the app is available. So think about your brand before you launch it – the more distinctive the better.
  • Think about your charging model – remember that Apple and Google take a 30% cut of revenue in return for hosting the app stores and processing payments, and they are also now demanding a cut of in-app purchases. You might even want to make the app free – some of the highest grossing iOS apps are free and make money purely through in app advertising.
  • Think about data protection – are you collecting personal data/utilising geolocation functions on the device (eg mobile phone triangulation/GPS/wifi data)?
  • Apps are licensed directly to the end user – Apple etc just acts as an agent in the sale. Do you want to use its standard EULA, or should you have specific licence terms that better reflect your app?

1 Response to “Article in B2B Marketing magazine on legal issues and apps development”

  1. 1 Apps and privacy – who is responsible? « Brodies TechBlog Trackback on February 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

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